Calf Augmentation - Complications
- Infection: Like a breast augmentation, a consequence of infection can be that the implant will need to be removed to clear the infection. It may be possible to return later to have it redone.
- Hematoma: The surgical dissection is remarkably bloodless, so the risk of bleeding is low. A hematoma would cause excessive swelling and pain right after surgery and would require a trip back to the operating room.
- Nerve injury: A sensory nerve is at risk in this operation - the sural nerve, which supplies feeling to the top of the foot. If this nerve is injured, this would cause numbness over the top of the foot, including possible permanent numbness. This nerve is often used as a donor nerve in reconstructive surgery because the consequences of such numbness are minimal. Nevertheless, care is taken to preserve this nerve and avoid this possible complication.
- Malposition of the implant: The implant may move after surgery and need to be repositioned.
- Larger Size: There is a limit to the size that can be inserted, depending on tension of the tissues. It may be necessary to come back later, when the tissues have stretched to put in a larger implant, if desired.
- Seroma: Any time a pocket is created under the skin,, tissue fluid may accumulate, called a "seroma." This fluid may need to be drained in the office.
- Compartment Syndrome: If the pressure in the tissues is too great after insertion of an implant, this may cause a rare problem called "compartment syndrome." This complication would be signaled by excessive pain, due to lack of blood supply to the muscle under the implant, and requires immediate surgical attention to release the tension.