Calf Augmentation Surgery | MedStar Health

If you have small calves that are disproportionate to your body, a calf augmentation can enhance or restore the shape of your lower legs. Using a silicone implant placed in the inner or outer calf, the procedure increases calf prominence and enhances the contour of your leg.

To perform a calf augmentation surgery, an incision is made in the back of the knee. After creating a small pocket, the implant is inserted, and the incision is closed. Your doctor will help you understand your implant options and recommend the size and placement to best achieve the cosmetic result you desire.

Planning and recovery

What to expect

You and your surgeon will discuss your procedure and how it will be performed. Your legs will be measured to help determine the implant size that’s best for you.

On the day of the procedure, you’ll be given IV sedation or general anesthesia. After making an incision in the back of the knee, your surgeon will create a small pocket either under or over the muscle. The implant is then placed in the pocket, and then the incision is closed with sutures. 

Recovery after calf augmentation surgery

After the procedure, your legs may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a support garment to help minimize swelling and support your calves as they heal. You’ll typically return home on the day of surgery with instructions from your doctor, and you may be prescribed medication for pain and to prevent infection.

You’ll likely experience some bruising and swelling, which will subside after a few days. Keeping legs elevated as much as possible will help alleviate swelling. You’ll be able to walk stiffly the first week and then more normally during the second and third week after surgery. Your doctor will advise you about when to return to normal activities and exercise, typically around six weeks.

Frequently asked questions

  • Am I a candidate for a calf augmentation?

    You may be a good candidate if:

    • You’re physically healthy
    • Your expectations are realistic
    • You understand the risks that come along with surgery
    • You’d like to emphasize calf bulk or have reached maximum calf development you can achieve through exercise
    • You desire a lower leg that’s more proportional to your body
    • You want to correct defects from an injury, disease, or congenital condition
  • How much does a calf augmentation cost?

    The costs for the procedure will vary based on your specific needs. Most insurance plans don’t cover calf augmentations unless the procedure will correct a congenital irregularity or deformity.

    When you come in for your consultation visit, we’ll be better able to discuss fees in detail with you. Our staff will also review the financing options available.

  • Is a calf augmentation covered by insurance?

    In most cases, calf augmentation surgery isn’t covered by insurance. However, some carriers offer coverage when the procedure is performed to correct a congenital irregularity or deformity. It’s always best to discuss coverage questions with your insurance carrier.

  • Do I need a referral to your office?

    If you’re exploring options for insurance coverage, you may need to request a referral from your primary care doctor, depending on your health insurance plan. Check with your carrier to see if medical coverage is an option for you and, if so, whether a referral is required.

  • What are the risks of calf augmentation surgery?

    As with any surgery, calf augmentations do pose some risks. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, risks include:

    • Allergic reactions
    • Anesthesia complications
    • Bleeding
    • Changes in skin sensation
    • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
    • Imperfect or asymmetrical results
    • Implant slippage
    • Infection
    • Nerve or muscle damage
    • Poor scarring
    • Possibility of revision surgery
  • How should I prepare for surgery?

    Before surgery, you may be asked to get blood tests and take or adjust medications. If you smoke, quitting will help you heal faster and better avoid complications.

    You’ll also need to arrange for transportation to and from the procedure on the day of surgery, and for someone to stay with you the night after the surgery.

    For more information visit Patient Resources or Preparing for Surgery.


Our locations

Distance from Change locationEnter your location

MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Road NW,
BLES Building
1st. Floor
Washington, D.C., 20007


MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

106 Irving St. NW
POB North
Ste. 3400
Washington, D.C., 20010

MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

9105 Franklin Square Drive
Suite 214
Rosedale, MD 21237


MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at McLean

6862 Elm Street
Suite 800
McLean, VA 22101