Long, thin calves are considered beautiful. It not only makes a person appear taller, but also conveys a sense of grace and elegance. Calf reduction surgery was first developed in Korea to address a bane of many Asians, disproportionately prominent calves that are both short and muscular.

Calf reduction surgery eliminates the top heavy look that disproportionately prominent gastrocnemius muscles give you, resulting in a top-heavy looking calves that body builders crave, but are problematic for normal individuals. Not only is it difficult to wear fashionable knee high boots, but both women and men feel self-conscious about the shape of their calves, making it embarrassing to wear shorts during the summer time.

Ideal calf circumference is between 32 to 34 cm. Many procedures have been developed to make calves look less prominent. The right procedure for a patient depends on both your calf anatomy, size of your gastrocnemius muscles, and the overall appearance of the calf. These include liposuction, Botox injections, radiofrequency nerve ablation, and partial muscle resections.

Calf reduction can beaccomplished via several different techniques:

  • Botox Injections
  • Liposuction
  • Radiofrequency nerve and muscle ablation
  • Highly Selective neurectomy
  • Partial resection of the gastrocnemius muscle

These procedures can also be combined for more effective and better aesthetic results. There is a sixth procedure that Dr. Liu does not perform or believe in, which is the complete resection of both heads fo the gastrocnemius muscles. This procedure is still performed in Asia, but Dr. Liu feels it gives inferior results with increased patient morbidity and calf contour irregularities.

Selective Neurectomy

Advantages: Permanent results and irreversible. Minimal scarring (2 cm scar behind your knees that like in one of the skin creases). Effective in reducing size of calves in a uniform fashion and you will not get contour irregularities as you would with partial muscle resection. Takes time for the muscle to atrophy from lack of use and nerve stimulation. Minimal post-operative discomfort and fast recovery. Potential alternate gastrocnemius innervation from the underlying soleus muscle that may not be addressed.

Disadvantages: Potential for compensatory hypertrophy of other muscles in the calves to compensate for weakness. Not Reversible (Relative disadvantage)

Partial Muscle Resection

Advantages: Permanent immediate results. May be combined with Selective Neurectomy to decrease likelihood of contour irregularities.

Disadvantages: High potential for contour irregularities. May get compensatory muscle hypertrophy from remaining calf muscles, or remaining gastrocnemius muscle. Longer post-operative recovery period (2-3 weeks) secondary to pain and calf swelling. Obvious surgical scar on the sides of your calf that slowly fade with time.

Each of the above procedures can be performed by itself, or in combination. For example, a partial muscle resection combined with selective neurectomy, or a selective neurectomy procedure can be combined with radiofrequency nerve/muscle ablation surgery.

Many of Dr. Liu’s patients are from out of town. We are able to set up skype consultations and also help you with your travel and hotel arrangements. After surgery, we are also able to arrange post-operative care for you. Prior to setting up either a telephone or Skype conference call, it would be helpful to send us pictures of your calves with a few different views:

  • Posterior image of your calves, with you flat on your feet
  • Posterior image of your calves, with you standing on your tippy toes
  • Anterior image of your calves, with you flat on your feet
  • Anterior image of your calves, with you on your tippy toes
  • Lateral view of your calves

For more information you can check out Dr. Liu’s calf reduction website.

(310) 855-3960

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