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Calf Augmentation: Implants vs. Fat Grafting

Originally created to restore leg volume due to injury or illness, calf augmentation is now a common cosmetic procedure. People seek calf augmentation to correct several different issues and create the appearance of stronger, fuller legs, especially if they’ve reached a plateau with what they’re physically capable of achieving with exercise.

There are two calf augmentation techniques – calf implants and fat grafting. The former entails inserting silicone implants into the calves, while the latter involves harvesting fat from another part of your body and using it to fill out your legs.

If you have decided to undergo a calf augmentation, deciding between implants and fat grafting can be challenging. There are drawbacks and benefits to both techniques, and a lot depends on your personal goals, health, and lifestyle. Below, we’ll discuss the basics of each procedure to help you make an informed decision about which technique is right for you.

What Are the Differences Between Calf Implants and Fat Grafting?

Calf implants are semi soft silicone-based implants surgically placed into the legs. They help enhance the calf muscles’ appearance, creating a more sculpted, athletic, muscular appearance while still looking and feeling entirely natural.

Your calf implant surgery will take place while you are under spinal anesthesia with sedation. Through small incisions at the posterior knee crease, Dr. Shlomo Widder will create a pocket either above or behind your calf muscles and insert silicone implants into your legs.

For the first two weeks after getting calf implants, stay off your feet and refrain from strenuous activity. You will need to wear compression bandages during this time to help reduce swelling.

Fat grafting involves harvesting fat from another part of your body via liposuction. The surgeon processes this fat and purifies it in a centrifuge before strategically injecting it into your calves to improve the overall appearance of your legs. Dr. Widder doesn’t perform this procedure because of different reasons. Mostly, because the fat disappears after a few months.

As with calf implants, fat grafting also requires a recovery period, but a much shorter one, since it’s a less invasive procedure. You can usually return to regular physical activities after two weeks, though you should avoid vigorous exercise for about six weeks after surgery.

The volume achieved with fat grafting is not as significant as with silicone-based implants, which is why you may decide to get a touch-up after healing from the initial procedure.

How to Choose Between Calf Implants and Fat Grafting

Deciding between implants or fat grafting can be a challenging decision that requires weighing the potential pros and cons.

Implant procedures yield more dramatic, permanent, and natural-looking results, and allow you more control over the specific shape of your legs. However, getting implants is a more invasive procedure than fat grafting.

If you are looking for less discomfort and a briefer recovery period, fat grafting may be better for you. Before you commit to this choice, ensure you are willing to maintain your results by keeping your weight within your target range. If you gain or lose weight after fat grafting, it might affect your calf size.

Need Help Deciding? Schedule Your Consultation With Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Shlomo Widder

The best way to decide between fat grafting and implants is to educate yourself thoroughly on each procedure by speaking with a professional, board-certified plastic surgeon.

Are you ready to get started? Dr. Widder is the owner of Widder Plastic Surgery in Northern Virginia. He has provided his unrivaled plastic surgery services for the past 30 years, and his patients continue to visit him for his outstanding results and care. To learn more, call our office at (703) 506-0300 or contact us through our website today!