Treatment guide

Calf Implants

Calf implant surgery, or calf augmentation, is a procedure designed to enhance the appearance of your lower legs. Treatment is performed by inserting silicone implants over your calf muscles.

The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.

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  • People who are born with deformed calf muscles, producing an imbalanced appearance in their lower legs, and for those who have a "bow-legged" appearance.

  • Those who have suffered muscle damage due to infections or impact injuries. People who desire calf augmentation for purely cosmetic purposes to change the way their legs appear.


  • In almost all cases, calf implants are considered a success, with very low rates of rejection or infection.

  • Studies have found that around 30% of patients will seek to return for further reshaping to achieve the exact shape they desire.


  • Discharge from hospital is normally the day after the procedure.

  • Patients can expect to be back at work or undertaking normal everyday activities within 2 weeks.

  • Full recovery of tissues in the calf will take longer and is usually complete within 6 months.


  • Surgery will last from 1-3 hours.

  • The process as a whole should take around 6 weeks to complete.


  • Position shift that will require corrective surgery

  • Inflammation

  • Infections or haematoma

What Are Calf Implants?

Calf implants are surgical devices made from silicone gel which are implanted inside your lower legs. Implants act as a supplement to existing calf muscle and ensure a regular, attractive muscle shape. Calf augmentation involves surgery and is a purely cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, not a means of adding muscular power.

How Do Calf Implants Work?

Calf implantation is a relatively simple surgical procedure, but the process goes beyond a few hours in theatre

1.Initial consultation  It begins with a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon who specialises in calf implants. At this meeting, you will discuss your reasons for seeking implants, the value of the implants from a cosmetic and medical perspective and how to prepare for the surgery. The physician will carefully examine your legs as well as measure them to determine what size and type of implants are right for you.

2.Implant preparation  Once the decision is made to proceed with surgery, the implants will be ordered from the manufacturing company. You will then be booked in for your surgery.

3. Implant surgery  The implantation surgery itself involves administering a general anaesthetic. You will lay on your stomach during the whole procedure. The surgeon will make an incision behind your knee, creating a pocket large enough to insert the implant and fit it securely. The incision will then be closed using standard sutures before a dressing is applied. In total, this part of the process should take 1-2 hours.

4. Discharge and recovery  Patients can then be discharged within 24 hours but cannot return to normal activities until the implant has bedded in. There may also be some pain for the first week or two as bruising around the implantation site subsides. Additionally, a dressing will be applied in theatre, and this must be worn for the first week. A tubular bandage is also provided, and this must be worn for a slightly longer period - usually around 6 weeks.

5. Healing  Within 6 months, the patient will probably be able to resume exercise and other strenuous activities. In the meantime, they will have been prescribed appropriate medication and exercises to promote the healing process. Regular checkups with the cosmetic surgeon are also usually part of the process.

Are There Different Types of Calf Implants?

There are two main types of calf implants, and these are usually labelled as either "soft" or "hard."

Soft implants use a technique known as autologous fat grafting. This involves taking fat from one part of the patient's body and injecting it into the calf area, producing a deposit of fat which reshapes the calf muscle. This technique does not involve any solid implants and tends to carry a lower risk of rejection or infection, while scarring and bruising are minimised.

Hard implants involve the placement of silicone implants under the skin on either side of the calf muscle. The implants can be made from either solid silicone or a silicone gel mix and are harder to the touch than fat-based implants. They are often preferred by patients who desire an athletic and toned result, although in some cases, the edges of the silicone can be felt through the skin.

Both procedures are commonly carried out and carry low risks. Bruising is common, and bleeding may occur, but infections and rejection are unlikely.

What Should I Expect?

If the procedure is carried out successfully, patients can expect to come out of the calf augmentation process with more attractive, sculpted and balanced calf muscles which improve their self-confidence and personal appearance.

Some discomfort is to be expected, particularly in the period directly after surgery. Patients must also be disciplined regarding the management of dressings and bandages for a period of up to six weeks. So, expect to receive guidance from your surgeon, and act on it to prevent damage to the implants.

In the medium term, patients can anticipate a period of reduced physical activity as the implants heal. This is crucial to achieving a successful outcome and can be hard for active people to deal with. But the end results tend to focus their minds on the need to avoid running, football or strenuous work-related activities.


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