Are Calf Implants Stranger than Breast Implants?
By: Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
A few years ago, a patient came in to see me – male, adult, healthy, in a happy marriage. However, there was something missing. His self-confidence was affected by, of all things, his poorly developed calf muscles. He had a regular exercise routine, but could not build up his calves in proportion to the rest of his body. The patient had very reasonable expectations. He wasn’t a body builder or on steroids – he was just trying to stay in shape and have a fit, toned body!
His self-confidence was affected to such an extent that he wasn’t comfortable wearing shorts. Interestingly, his anxiety over his calves initially prompted his wife, with his knowledge, to come in and discuss the situation while he was out of town. She was clearly a supportive wife that loved him but recognized how much his calves bothered him and wanted to help in any manner she could.
Looking back over what you just read, is your gut telling you this is ridiculous? Why should someone care that much about their calves when they’re healthy otherwise? You have a right to that opinion, but go back and read everything above and replace male pronouns with their female equivalent and replace calves with breasts.
Do you feel any different now? In today’s world, I think there is far less contempt for breast implants than calf implants. Is that because we live in a society that looks highly upon women with fuller breasts but think men and cosmetic surgery, especially calf implants, are something on the fringe? I recognize calf implants are not very common, but at the same time, I’m unable to make a distinction between women that want fuller breasts and men who want fuller calves to help bolster their self-confidence. That being said, you still have to vet your patient, male or female, to make sure they’re psychologically mature enough for any surgery.
In the case of this patient, he was mature with reasonable expectations and my favorite sign of a well-adjusted patient…his wife was extremely supportive. They appeared to be in a happy and loving relationship. He wasn’t asking for massive calves, just something to give his inner calves a little more definition.
The procedure, involving very small incisions just below the knee crease, is fairly straightforward and can be performed safely by an appropriately credentialed board-certified plastic surgeon. Much like a breast augmentation, a “pocket” is developed but in contrast to a breast augmentation, the implant is placed on top of the muscle, never underneath. He was very compliant with his postoperative plan, which included avoidance of heavy leg exercises for two weeks. It’s been several years since his operation and just recently he sent a picture demonstrating how proud he was of his calves! Check them out for yourself…