Calf Reduction: Pros & Cons of Selective Neurectomy

A brief introduction on calf reduction surgery

Calf reduction surgery aims to reduce the size of the gastrocnemius muscles in an individual’s legs, in order to have less prominent and more aesthetically pleasing calves. If you're looking into getting a calf reduction surgery, you may feel overwhelmed by the wide array of procedures available. In this post, we will explain the pros and cons of neurectomy, a calf reduction method for which patient demand is rising.

What is selective neurectomy?

Selective neurectomy works largely because our muscles have the ability to atrophy, in simpler terms, our muscles can waste away if they are not used. In calf reduction, this characteristic is used to its advantage by targeting nerves in the area of the calf where the reduction has to be made. These nerves are then severed which hence allows the muscle to slowly degenerate over time. This therefore, results in the appearance of slimmer and more well-defined calves.

How does it work?

The process is minimally invasive and requires only small incisions which are made behind the knee in order to access the nerves that have to be severed and ligated. Following this, the remaining nerves are clipped in order to give the best possible shape to your calves. Over time, the targeted muscle area fails to receive any kind of stimulation and atrophies which results in a more uniform reduction of the muscle and avoids irregularities in the contour.

Pros and cons of selective neurectomy

In terms of its advantages, selective neurectomy is not very invasive, requiring very small cuts. It is a permanent procedure and results in minimal scarring. On the other hand, its irreversible nature might also prove to be a disadvantage, and there may be the possibility of a compensatory response as hypertrophy (which is an increase in the size of the muscle) of the surrounding muscle areas.

What are the alternative procedures for calf reduction?

Other than selective neurectomy, other currently available methods include:

  • Botox: It works by paralyzing the nerves in the targeted muscle area and hence restricts muscle movement. This then leads to the muscle shrinking and the appearance of smoother and slimmer looking calves. The procedure is non-invasive and temporary.

  • Liposuction: Targets the removal of fat buildup in the calves. It works by inserting a cannula through a small incision into the desired region, through which the fat is removed. The procedure is permanent.

  • Radiofrequency ablation: A minimally invasive process which locates nerves within the muscle to be reduced. The targeted nerves are then burned using the radiofrequency energy, leaving the muscle intact and hence shows immediate results. The scarring associated with this procedure is minimal, but requires multiple sessions to achieve the desired result.

  • Partial resectioning of the muscle: The procedure aims to remove a part of the calf muscle, through incisions at the back of the knee. The size of the incisions vary depending on individual consultation, and the muscle is removed in a way that will leave behind a well sculpted calf. This procedure targets more heavy reduction, is permanent and irreversible.

Lastly, if you're still puzzled about which treatment is right for you, get in touch with us anytime! In case you’re looking to do some more reading on calf reduction surgery, you can find more information on calf reduction on our treatment pages. Happy reading!

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About the author

Ifrah Khanyaree, Medical Content Writer

Ifrah is a recent graduate in psychology and neuroscience with a penchant for extensively researching and writing content that is honest and accessible.

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