Calf implants are used to bulk up the appearance of the calf muscles to give the look of having been in the gym for hours working out the calf muscles.
The technique is the same in men or women. A 1.5" incision is made in the lower posterior popliteal crease (the lines behind the knee) and deepened to extend through the fascia that covers these 2 areas of the muscle. Once this investing fascia is opened, the pockets that will receive the implants are easily developed. Calf implants are placed within the muscle compartments (2 of them in each leg) but on top of the actual muscle fibers. Because of certain important nerves and blood vessels that are below the muscle, the implants are not usually placed under the muscle (which is the reverse of pec implants). The operation will usually last about 2 hours. It can be done under local, regional, or general anesthesia. Once the implants are in place, the incisions are closed.
The patient will be more comfortable if a long acting (usually about 10-12 hours) local anesthetic is left in each implant compartment. Compression stockings are placed and these will be worn for about 2-3 weeks. There are generally no bandages. When the patient is ready to leave the recovery room, they wear a shoe with a 1.5 to 2 inch heel (clogs). This will cause the calf muscles to relax and the discomfort will be less. Patients are advised to go home to bed for 24 hours. After that they can get up for eating or the bathroom but they still need to be off their feet for about a week with the legs elevated. This may stretch into 2-3 weeks if there is unusual swelling or bruising. Their post-surgery activities are restricted severely for about 6 weeks, especially gym activity.
Discomfort following the surgery can be quite variable. Women seem to have less pain than men, but that is across the board in all surgical procedures. Pain is to be expected, especially for the first 48 hours. The long acting local anesthetic helps with the immediate post-surgical pain. Keeping the legs elevated will reduce the swelling and therefore reduce pain. An antibiotic, something specifically for pain, something to reduce inflammation, possibly something for muscle spasms, and occasionally something for sleep will be prescribed by the doctor. Take medications exactly as prescribed and with no other drugs. In these days of exotic medications, interaction and cross-reaction of medications is not too uncommon.
Follow-up visits to the doctor vary with each physician but patients are usually seen 2 days postop, then weekly for 3 weeks, then at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and annually thereafter. Patients that are from out-of-town have their schedule adjusted to their needs.