Will A Calf Implant Make My Smaller Calf the Same Size as My Normal Calf?

Q: Dr. Eppley, my left calf muscle is 2 to 3 inches smaller than my right. I do have muscle in my leg but it just will not enlarge with exercise. I am interested in getting calf implants. I was wondering how long I would need to stay after surgery.

A: Calf augmentation is done as an outpatient procedure. You could go home the same day, but if you live far away, you consider going home the next day.
A calf implant will help the size of the smaller calf but will not be able to make it match identically to the opposite normal side in shape or circumferential measurement. The tightness of the skin is the limiting factor in congenital calf asymmetry, the most challenging use of calf implants. In an ideal world congenital calf deficiency would be treated by a two-stage approach, a first-stage fat injection augmentation followed three months later by the placement of a calf implant. This is the ideal approach because the fat injections and the associated stem cells in it allows for some soft tissue expansion and a thicker soft tissue bed to ultimately receive the implant. But because of cost considerations, most patients have to go immediately for the implant.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana