close up of a woman's legs son the floor

Calf augmentation was originally designed to restore and contour legs for those with medical conditions like polio and clubfoot. Now, calf augmentation is widely available to patients looking to enhance their physical appearance. Calf augmentation – including calf implants – can help enhance the appearance of your calf muscles and reshape your legs overall.

The decision to get cosmetic surgery is highly personal, and there is no right or wrong answer. Getting calf implants is a major operation, and requires a lot of research and consideration. Below, we will provide you with a brief overview of calf augmentation and implants to help you make an informed decision.

What Are Calf Implants?

Calf implants are silicone-based implants used in some forms of calf augmentation surgery. Implants can be customized into different shapes and sizes to get the form you want.

The benefit of calf implants is that they can dramatically change the shape of your legs. This can help with multiple issues. Calf implants can increase the appearance of the volume of the calf muscle, even out proportions in the lower leg, or correct lower leg defects from injury, disease, or birth conditions.

What Happens During Calf Implant Surgery?

Initial Consultation

Before undergoing surgery, you will have an initial consultation with a surgeon to discuss your treatment plan and ensure you are a good candidate for calf implants.

Your surgeon will ask you about your cosmetic goals to help determine the right type of implants for you. You will also discuss your medical history and lifestyle to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Chronic health conditions and lifestyle factors like smoking may put you at a heightened risk for complications.

A medical evaluation of some kind is usually necessary before calf augmentation. You will have to undergo a complete physical and get lab work done to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery.

Preparing For Implants

Your surgeon may ask you to make a few changes in the weeks or months leading up to calf augmentation. This may include quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, or refraining from taking certain medications.

On the day of your surgery, follow your surgeon’s instructions closely. You may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for a set number of hours prior to surgery, depending on your health history and precise type of operation.

The Procedure

Calf augmentation is performed under general anesthesia and is usually an outpatient procedure. This means you will be able to go home as soon as surgery is complete, although you will need someone to take care of you directly after the procedure.

Once anesthesia is administered, your surgeon will make an incision behind the knees, insert the implants, and then stitch the skin back together. The entire procedure takes roughly 90 minutes to complete, although times do vary from person to person. 

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Calf implant surgery is a major operation, so the recovery process lasts a few months.

Directly after surgery, you will need to take a few days off to rest. During this time, you will have to stay off your feet as much as possible. Your doctor may also recommend that you stay away from alcohol for the first few weeks after surgery.

Most people can return to regular walking within three weeks, but it can take a few months to return to strenuous exercise. During recovery, you will have regular follow ups with your surgeon, who can help you determine the rate at which you can ease back into your regular routine.

What Are The Risks Of Calf Implants?

While any cosmetic procedure comes with risks, calf implants are usually very safe and come with a low risk of complications if you work with a reputable surgeon.

Immediately after surgery, you may experience side effects like bleeding, swelling, or infection. If you notice pus or blood around the calf area, contact your surgeon. These issues can usually be treated effectively with swift medical intervention. One serious possible complication is Compartment Syndrome. Signs of this are excessive pain or numbness. If you have any of these symptoms you must contact your surgeon immediately or go to an emergency room. Fortunately, this complication is very rare.

In the long term, silicone implants can rupture or become misplaced. You may need followup surgery to correct these issues.

What Are The Alternatives To Calf Implants?

If you do not want implants, fat grafting is an implant-free form of calf augmentation. Fat is harvested from other parts of the body, purified, and then strategically placed in the calves. For those who want a more natural option, fat grafting may be a good alternative to enhance your calves without the use of implants.


Deciding on plastic surgery is always difficult, especially with a major operation like calf augmentation. It is important that you take the time necessary to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Calf implant procedures can have a positive impact on self-esteem and self-image. They can correct issues that will not respond to exercise and diet alone. While every procedure carries a risk for complications, if you work with a qualified surgeon and follow instructions carefully, complications are unlikely.

Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering calf implants, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.

Back to Blog

Your Path to Perfection begin your radiant transformation

Schedule Consultation
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (310) 388-1851.
Contact Us