Augmenting your calves with calf implants are well worth the downtime. The way they make your calves look is nothing short of dramatic. Your calves will perk right up; your legs will fill out and not look so thin. All the time spent in the gym working out your calves with little results is remedied with calf augmentation.
Calf implants are also excellent for those who have been victims of accidents or traumas that have changed the look of their calves as a result of the injuries. They're also ideal for those who were born with birth defects that affect the calf, or those who have diseases that affect their lower legs, nerve input to the whole lower leg, and other neurological disorders.
Different Types of Calf Implants
Calf implants are similar to breast implants in that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most are made from silicone. The most popular calf implants are silicone gel.
However, like with breast implants, silicone gel calf implants may suddenly buckle. This is called capsular contraction, and some studies have shown that if implants were not used with an exceptionally sterile method during surgery, the risk of capsular contraction is high.
This is because microbes from the air that attach themselves to the implant during surgery can then set up biofilms and microbial colonies inside the body. This then causes the implant to buckle and/or rupture – and it must be removed.
Solid silicone implants have a better rate of success with calf implants although they must be inserted underneath a muscle to avoid a harsh line of demarcation that doesn't look natural. Newer versions of the solid implants mimic a well-toned, athletic-looking muscle – without the line of demarcation and possibility of rupturing.
Calf Implant Location
Men that receive calf augmentation usually have more emphasis placed on the buildup of both the inner (medial) and outer (lateral) calf to fill it out. Women on the other hand, usually only want the medial aspect filled out.
Calf Implant Surgical Procedure
The calf augmentation procedure takes a few hours to complete. It’s a procedure that may be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation. How you handle the aftercare makes a big difference in your recovery time as well as when you can get back to running, cycling and other activities.
Guidelines for Recovery
Like other plastic surgery procedures, calf implant surgery has specific guidelines to follow if you want to recover quickly. Here’s a list of them:
1. Take Down Inflammation Any Way You Can
All surgical procedures will cause inflammation of the tissues and possibly bruising. This means that after calf implants, your legs will be swollen and you may also see bruises on them. Doing whatever you can to relieve the congestion and accompanying swelling will help relieve the pain as well.
Your doctor may prescribe a medication to decrease the pain as well as an anti-inflammatory medication.
Ask your doctor if you can also take any herbal anti-inflammatory agents such as turmeric or cat’s claw herb. These have strong anti-inflammatory actions and don't interfere with medications.
2. Will You Need a Compression Garment?
Ask your doctor about the need for a compression wrap around your lower legs after the calf implant surgical procedure. Some doctors may require it while others don't.
3. Elevate, Elevate, and Elevate
Keeping your legs elevated also helps to prevent congestion after surgery.
4. Know the Rules for Walking
Walking should be minimized on the first day following surgery, but not totally eliminated. At first, your walking will be characterized as stiff but as time goes on you can expect a normal gait to return. This may happen around the second or third week. You won’t even be thinking about your calf implants affecting your walking around the fourth or sixth week mark.
5. Avoid Sports Activities
Running and weight training will put serious stresses on the calf muscle so these activities will have to be avoided for up to eight weeks. Your doctor will inform you of when you can return to these activities based on your individual case.
6. Calf Implants For Purposes of Alleviating Birth Defects
If you are getting calf implants for reasons other than aesthetics (compensation for injuries or birth defects/illnesses), then check with your board-certified plastic surgeon on the need for a walker after the surgery. It will be important to keep moving to prevent blood clots but at the same time, you must not move the lower leg a lot to avoid moving the placement of the calf implant.
7. Stay Busy Mentally to Prevent Any Loss of Sports Performance
It’s easy to get discouraged when you have all the extra downtime and cannot go to the gym to work out. However, remember that there have been studies of athletes with injuries who used the process of visualization to heal more rapidly as well as improve their sports performance even though they weren’t working out.
The athletes imagines themselves working out – for example, making baskets on the basketball court while they were in the recovery phase for their injuries. When it was time to return to the sport, they had not lost any skills whatsoever.
Stay positive and follow the guidelines for calf implant surgery and you will do well!