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What is a calf augmentation?

A calf augmentation is a procedure that involves the placement of silicone calf implants to enhance the shape of the lower leg. The procedure will enlarge the calves, giving them a more defined, muscular appearance. There is a wide selection of calf implant shapes and sizes to choose from and they are usually made of silicone.

An alternative to implants is fat grafting, which involves transferring soft skin tissues from another area, like the thighs, to the calves. Sometimes, calf implants are used in combination with fat grafting, which may result in more precise result.


Calf augmentation surgery can achieve very satisfying results. The results of the implant surgery are usually immediately noticeable, and the implants will stay in place for a long time, but the results are not permanent. The silicone implants can degrade, and further surgery may be needed after several years.


How do I plan for my calf augmentation surgery?
Before any surgery is performed, your first consultation with your cosmetic surgeon will be a discussion about what your expectations are, and what you would like to achieve.

Your surgeon will examine your calves, assess skin quality and tone and take measurements, paying attention to their shape and size, and will also take photographs. He or she will ask about your general health status as well as any pre-existing conditions.

There are several calf augmentation procedure options and your surgeon will suggest one that is right for you, explaining the full procedure so you can make an informed decision.

What is the procedure for calf augmentation?
A calf augmentation procedure usually takes about 2 hours to complete. After anaesthesia, the surgeon makes incisions into the calves, usually behind the knee, and then inserts the silicone implants through the incisions, moving them into the correct position below the skin of the calf into a pocket that has been surgically created within the muscle. A second implant is sometimes inserted next to the first one, depending on the shape required. Once the implants are in place, the incisions are closed with sutures. The implants are held in place by the fat and muscle which heals around them.
How should I prepare for a calf augmentation?
Before your surgery you may be asked to stop smoking for two to four weeks prior to the procedure. Nicotine retards the healing process and quitting for as long as possible before surgery helps improve blood flow. You will also have to have a blood test before surgery is performed.

You should stop taking certain medication, like aspirin and some anti-inflammatory drugs. Avoid recreational drugs and disclose to your surgeon any other medication you’re taking, since you may need to adjust these.

Be sure to arrange for transport to and from the clinic, since you will not be able to drive yourself after the procedure.

Where will my calf augmentation surgery be performed?
The surgery will be performed in one of our fully equipped operating theatres.
What anaesthetic will be used for my calf augmentation?
Calf augmentation is performed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will recommend which option is best for you.
How do I recover from calf augmentation surgery?
Immediately after surgery you may have bruising and redness at the incision areas, as well as some swelling. You might also feel some discomfort in the first few days. You will have compression bandages over your calves, and you should use these for two weeks after the procedure. The bruising and inflammation will fade and subside and should be gone in a couple of weeks.

You should take a few days off work while recovering from the surgery. While you are healing, avoid strenuous activity and exercise, try to stay off your feet as much as possible, avoid alcohol and follow a nutritious diet.

What can I expect after my surgery?
The results of the surgery are noticeable almost immediately. After the bruising and swelling have gone there will be scarring, but it will be minimal and not very noticeable because the incisions are made behind the knee. Scarring from incisions made on the front of the leg below the knee will also be barely noticeable once they have healed and faded.
When can I return to normal activities?
Your recovery will take up to two weeks, and you may need to use crutches for some time after the procedure. You should be able to return to your normal activities after the two-week recovery period and get back to your regular exercise routine on the advice of your surgeon, which is usually after about 4-8 weeks.
What are the risks involved in calf augmentation surgery?

With calf augmentation surgery, like all other surgery, there is a (low) risk of post-operative infection, bleeding and swelling as well as the risks associated with anaesthesia.

Some of the other risks and side effects include pain, scarring, allergic reactions, skin loss and skin discoloration. There may also be fluid or blood accumulation.

Your surgeon will discuss all the risks with you before the procedure.

If you have infection and excessive bleeding, or if you notice pus or increased swelling, call your surgeon.

Some silicone implants can rupture or move, resulting in one calf that shrinks in size, or fullness that moves to a different part of your leg. Call your surgeon if you notice any of these.