I Finally Feel Comfortable Wearing Shorts
I'm Sean, and I'm 34 years old. Seven months ago, in May 2017, I had calf implant surgery (also known as a calf augmentation). I'm writing today to talk about my experiences in hopes that it might help others thinking about a similar surgical procedure.
My reason for seeking out calf implants dates back to an auto accident I was in in 2001. My left lower leg was disfigured, and the damage was long-term. Even after I recovered with months of physical therapy, I still had nerve damage and scar tissue, and for many years I never felt comfortable or confident with the appearance of my legs—even my non-disfigured right leg—when I would wear shorts. I've been a competitive bodybuilder and competed in many different contests nationally and internationally, but with the damage and disfigurement from my accident, I always had skinny legs and struggled to build my calf muscles. When I started doing bodybuilding shows, it felt like I had a missing body part, and there was nothing I could do about it, no matter how hard I exercised. After years of low self confidence and exhausting every other option to build muscle, a friend finally convinced me to look into plastic surgery.
After a few appointments with a specialist who decided I was a good candidate, I put my fate in the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon, DOCTOR, and throughout the process he made me feel like I had made the right decision. He answered any questions I had, made me feel comfortable, and walked me through the entire surgery before I went in. I never imagined I'd have cosmetic surgery, but being that I was never truly satisfied with either of my legs, I ultimately decided to have both of them done. In each leg, I was set to have two solid silicone implants—one long and one short, so four implants total.
The day of the surgery, I went to the hospital, briefly met with my doctor and the anesthesiologist, and was put under general anesthesia. About two hours later, the entire procedure was finished, I had surgical stockings on that ran from my ankles up to my knees, and it was officially recovery time. I wasn't in any real postoperative pain, but there was definitely swelling and tightness, and standing up to try to go to the bathroom shortly after surgery was a bit of a nightmare. They kept me overnight, not because there were any complications or adverse reactions, but just to make sure I didn't feel any additional pain and that my legs were elevated properly.
The next day, I left the surgical facility in a wheelchair, and getting into the car with my girlfriend to drive home was a little difficult. I was given a set of crutches which made getting around a little bit easier, but the first few days were tough to get around. Luckily, I wasn't in any pain, so I was happy. I spent most of the second day of recovery relaxing, taking it easy, and feeling pretty lazy. I was definitely looking forward to and hoping for a quick recovery so I could get back on my feet and start training again.
On the third day after surgery, I was finally able to take a shower. I still had the surgical stockings on and my stitches in (they would both remain for about 4 weeks), so I was just careful to try to keep them as dry as I could. I also went up and down stairs for the first time. I had my first bowel movement since the surgery, too, which was pretty painful and uncomfortable. I imagine it was because of the anesthesia, which probably made me a little constipated. I had a lot of trouble urinating the first day, too. Getting up and down the stairs was a process and a workout, but it was doable and not very painful for me. At first, I tried to sit on the stairs and use my upper body strength to pull me up one by one, but found that my calves would rub against each stair on my way up, so I opted to just use one crutch and hold the bannister to pull myself up.
Even with the stockings still on and through the little bit of swelling, I could tell that the shape of my calf muscles was unlike it had ever been before, and I was very satisfied. They looked more even than they had since my accident, and it was a great feeling. On the fourth day, I took the stockings off and had a look with my girlfriend, and we both thought there was a vast improvement to the muscle mass. Definitely started to feel like I had new legs.
About two weeks after surgery, I was back in a normal routine of being mobile and working out. I wasn't working out my lower body at all, and didn't do so until just recently, several months after surgery. The timeframe from surgery to being able to get back in the gym was pretty short though, which was nice.
Now that it's been some months since the procedure, I can say I'm very happy with the results. For the first time in my life I feel comfortable wearing shorts and showing off my legs. If I had the means to have plastic surgery sooner, I most certainly would have, but better late than never. If you're thinking of having a calf augmentation procedure yourself, I would say do your research, find a doctor who makes you feel comfortable, and be prepared to be stationary for a few weeks after your surgery. Otherwise, the entire process, at least in my experience, was pretty painless and very rewarding!