Calf implants: procedure and cost

Written by: Dr Gary Horn
Published: | Updated: 26/08/2019
Edited by: Laura Burgess

Calf implants, also known as calf augmentation, are silicone-based implants that are surgically inserted into the calves to enhance the size. We’ve asked one of our top consultant plastic surgeons Dr Gary Horn all about the procedure, including what happens, how it long it takes to recover and how much the operation costs.

Why might someone want calf implants?

Originally, calf implants were invented to correct congenital calf asymmetry (known as club foot), so it was mostly a one-side-only implant surgery. Then in the 1980s in California, bodybuilders started asking cosmetic surgeons if there was anything to be done to improve the definition of their under-developed calve muscles.

Today, I see mostly bodybuilders and calves asymmetry patients, but also young ladies who say that they can’t wear high boots because their calves are not big enough to fit in. This surgery is not just about getting volume: it is a way to reshape the leg and give it a better harmony.

Who is likely to want calf implants?

I see 50% of women and 50% of men in my practice.

What happens during the procedure?

The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and the scar is located behind the knee. I use specific calf implants that contain a silicone gel. These implants come in different sizes and they are positioned under the fascia of the gastrocnemius muscle.

Around 80% of patients have only one implant on top of the medial gastrocnemius muscle (so a total of two implants for the patient).

About 20% of patients also have an implant in front of the lateral gastrocnemius muscle (so a total of four implants for the patient).

Calf implants can sometimes be combined with a fat transfer.

What happens in aftercare? How long is it until you can be up on your feet again?

Patients can leave the hospital on the same day, and they can walk immediately for a short distance. The recovery time is about two weeks.

How much do calf implants cost?

Cost of this surgery is between £6000 and £7000.

Interested in calf implants? Do not hesitate to book a first consultation with Dr Horn.

By Dr Gary Horn
Plastic surgery

Dr Gary Horn is a renowned plastic surgeon based in both London and Brussels, who has extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of cosmetic surgery. His areas of expertise lie in buttock augmentation, surgical and nonsurgical penoplasty, and pectoral enhancement. In 2003 Dr Horn designed the first pectoral implant, which is now used worldwide.

Dr Horn started his medical career training in the main hospitals of Paris, including Hospital Saint Louis and Hospital Saint-Antoine, where he was chief resident and then the assistant at the Hospital de Paris. Specialising in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, Dr Horn became a consultant plastic surgeon in 2002. In 2003 he dedicated himself to his private practice and registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK where he opened his London clinic. 

He has written many professional articles about his experience in pectoral and buttock augmentation and wrote the first article on this topic to appear in the magazine French Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. He attends many national and international meetings on plastic surgery in cities such as Sao Paolo, where he performed live surgery, Heidelberg, Barcelona and Beirut, where he also holds many presentations.

Dr Horn's operations have been featured on the BBC Plastic Fantastic series. He has been filmed for his pioneering penoplasty procedures and is recognised as one of the top European surgeons for breast and buttock augmentation procedures. 

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