Do you wish you had bigger calves but can’t seem to attain them by exercise alone? For many men and women, lack of muscle tone and undesirable-shaped calves can cause a lot of insecurity. For those looking to surgically correct the shape of their calves, the answer has frequently been a calf augmentation. Traditional calf augmentations have long required the use of silicone implants, which carry with them a number of risks, from hyperpigmentation to seromas, a condition where fluid builds along the incision line and may require more surgeries to correct. But now, a new breakthrough in calf augmentation is making the procedure a lot safer — and a lot easier.
“Believe it or not, surgeons are using fat grafting to replace traditional silicone implants,” says Dr. Bruce Chau, a plastic surgeon from Berkley, Michigan.
According to Chau, fat works better than silicone for many reasons, the number one being it’s already a part of your body.
“In fat grafting, the surgeon is taking fat from one part of the body and transplanting it into another part of the same body,” he says. “There’s no need for your body to get used it, because it’s not a foreign substance.”
Chau says that because the body is more likely to accept the fat graft, there is no need to worry about discoloration or shifting and protruding implants.
Best of all, according to Chau, there’s no incision.
“The fat is removed from one area of the body, usually somewhere you don’t want it like the abdomen, and then injected into the calf,” he says. “This means there’s no cutting involved, so no seroma and no scar.”
Another benefit to fat grafting? It’s easy — and much more affordable — to increase the size of the calf if the patient isn’t satisfied with the first treatment, and it has very little downtime.
“Implant surgery normally takes about a month to recover from, so no gym for a month,” Chau says. “That can be a big issue for people who like to keep fit. But with fat grafting, you can head back to the gym in about five days, and you get a little bit of liposuction out of it too.”