In recent years, cosmetic surgeons have developed ways of improving muscle contour with cosmetic implants and “sculpting” techniques. Calf implants, which were originally developed to restore leg contour in accident or polio victims, are now used to create cosmetic fullness in the lower leg. The implants are placed through an incision behind the knee. The implants are made of solid silicone and have no problems with leakage like silicone gel breast implants do.
Similarly, pectoral implants, which are used to build the chests of men with Poland’s syndrome, also can be used to “bulk out” the existing pectoral muscles of healthy men. These implants are also made of solid silicone. They are placed through an incision in the armpit and placed underneath the pectoralis muscle. Since the implant is solid, it must be placed through a larger incision than that used for placing breast implants through the armpit.
Both calf and pectoral implants have the same risks associated with any implantable device. Fluid or blood can accumulate around the implant in the first few weeks after surgery and this may require drainage. Sometimes the scar tissue that develops around the implant can become thickened and tighten around the implant resulting in distortion of the shape of the implant. This is known as capsule contracture. If this occurs, additional surgery may be required to remove the scar tissue and place a new implant.