10:59 pm - 10/28/2009

Korea's latest trend: Calf Reduction Sugery



Attractive calves are desirable to people of all cultures. Unfortunately, thick, short, and overly muscular calves, a condition known as "radish calves" or "radish legs," are more common in Asian women.

A large calf may be considered an aesthetic problem by women who find it awkward to wear certain clothes like short skirts or swimsuits. Bulky calves can also make the legs look shorter, and short height is a common point of employment discrimination in the Orient.

Popular Asian media seems so obsessed with long, thin legs that computer-manipulated ads not uncommonly appear comically distorted.


The calf contains three main muscles: the medial gastrocnemius (back of the calf towards the leg's inner side), the lateral gastrocnemius (back of the calf towards the leg's outer side), and the soleus (located underneath the gastrocnemius muscles).

All three muscles play important roles in standing, walking, running, and jumping, although the soleus muscle can make up for some of the functional loss that comes with damage to the gastrocnemius muscles.

A number of calf reduction methods exist, from simple to "extreme." The most advanced techniques are practiced mainly in Korea, China, and Taiwan, while American doctors emphasize methods that are much simpler but also much less effective.

Surgery that destroys nerves and muscle remains controversial even in Asia, where in a few countries they are forbidden by law. Surgical results after even the most aggressive techniques are usually subtle.



Here is a list of the calf reduction methods:

Calf Reduction by Liposuction

If thick calves are caused by excessive accumulation of fat, liposuction can help to reshape them.
More commonly, however, the underlying cause is genetically overdeveloped muscles.

While effective on the legs of plump Westerners, liposuction is only minimally helpful in removing bulk from the legs of Asians since muscle rather than fat accounts for their excess.

Calf Reduction by BOTOX

Injection of BOTOX ® Cosmetic works by paralyzing the nerves supplying the calf muscles and causing the gastrocnemius muscles to shrink, or atrophy.

To effect even a tiny reduction in calf diameter requires that a large amount of BOTOX be injected repeatedly at intervals of three months. After the initial three treatments, most patients note a slight improvement that lasts 6-9 months.

Reduction in calf circumference may be hard to measure but the weakened muscle appears less prominent. Although recommended by some American surgeons, most Asian doctors feel BOTOX reduction is ineffective and mostly abandoned the procedure years ago.

Some doctors claims that continued use will eventually lead to longer lasting effects and even permanent reduction. Unfortunately, this claim makes little medical sense and is not backed up by any scientific studies.

The only advantage of BOTOX calf reduction is that it is minimally invasive. Initial and recurring costs can be very high.

Calf Reduction by Neurectomy

Surgically severing the nerve to the medial gastrocnemius muscle is a quick operation that will induce gradual shrinkage of the medial gastrocnemius muscle.

Although the circumference of the calf may be reduced approximately 0-3 cm (fairly insignificant), the precise location and amount of that reduction are unpredictable.

Over time, the other calf muscles (lateral gastrocnemius and soleus) can hypertrophy or overdevelop to compensate for the lost muscle function, an effect that may result in a bowing-out and unevenness in calf contour.

Finally, the risk of injuring the nerves to the calf's other two muscles is high and can result in a gait disturbance.

Calf Reduction by Muscle Resection

Total Excision:

Surgical removal of the entire medial gastrocnemius muscle causes full loss of function, is painful, and can lead to trouble walking.

As with nerve resection (neurectomy) the remaining lateral gastrocnemius and soleus muscles will enlarge to try to compensate for lost muscle function.

Partial Muscle Resection:

Selective muscular resection can result in significant reduction in calf circumference from between 3 and 7 cm. Both gastrocnemius muscles (medial and lateral) and the soleus muscle beneath them are thinned not by total removal but rather by sculpting it down piece by piece. While most resection is done on the medial gastrocnemius muscle, the lateral gastrocnemius and soleus muscle may also be slimmed to achieve the best result.

While many experienced surgeons feel this is the procedure of choice for Asian calf reduction, the procedure is far from risk-free.
In contrast to neurectomy, partial muscle resection allows for more precision since the location and amount of reduction is more controllable. It is the only treatment that can help bowing of the legs (other treatments may worsen bowing).

Endoscopic-assisted surgery is performed under either spinal or general anesthesia and takes about 2-3 hours.

Scarring from the incision behind the knee (•••) is slightly greater than with other methods and healing can be slower. Normal calf strength may not be regained for up to a year.

Risks include asymmetry, permanent nerve injury, and pain during walking. Compensatory hypertrophy is not usually much of a problem.
Partial muscle resection does not need to be repeated. In comparison, BOTOX injections may cost significantly more in the long run while yielding little improvement.

Western doctors have almost no experience with this procedure

Calf Reduction with Radiofrequency

Radio-frequency energy can be used on the gastocnemius muscle complex to cause localized destruction of tissue within the calf for the purpose of reducing excess bulk and contouring shape.

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. Radiorequency current is applied directly to the muscle at selected locations. The RF energy causes "coagulation necrosis," or tissue liquifaction and death.

Recovery is relatively rapid. Most patients are able to resume non-strenuous activity within a few days to one week. Functional disability with walking, running, or jumping is not common after healing but such activities may feel painful.

The change in calf circumference can vary from 0-6 cm depending upon the number of areas treated and the amount of RF energy applied. Reduction of muscle volume is not fully predictable or controllable.

As with neurectomy, compensatory hypertrophy of remaining muscle may occur over time.

Source: asianplasticsurgeryguide, image#1 , image #2
More information on: Oz cosmetic clinic, the grand narrative

For the Calf reduction by muscle resection you need minimun 2 weeks or recovery and may need to relearn how to walk.
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(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
xox_roxygurl 29th-Oct-2009 05:53 am (UTC)
seriously 2nd most common? O.O
shikinluv 29th-Oct-2009 05:51 am (UTC)
D: D: D: D: D:

*looks at calves*
big_mama_jess 29th-Oct-2009 06:24 am (UTC)
dont be alarmed! all of snsd did it~
hoyah 29th-Oct-2009 05:52 am (UTC)
sounds so dangerous @_@;
xcherryblossomx 29th-Oct-2009 05:54 am (UTC)
when I googled the topic I saw some scary pictures of people that ended up with asymmetrical calves D:
Plus there is a possibility that you cant walk normally 0___0
iheartdarkblue 29th-Oct-2009 05:52 am (UTC)
;__; I'm self-concious about my calves. They're monstrous.
musume_dono 29th-Oct-2009 05:53 am (UTC)
same :(
minamelody 29th-Oct-2009 05:53 am (UTC)
but omg.

relearning how to walk? pass :/
ama_dormire 29th-Oct-2009 07:28 am (UTC)
this.
cupofcoffeentea 29th-Oct-2009 05:53 am (UTC)
may need to relearn how to walk.
Say whut. I don't want to risk the ability of walking just to get nicer looking legs. :|
terror_trials 30th-Oct-2009 05:58 am (UTC)
that sentence made me lmfao!!!!
moeruze_burning 29th-Oct-2009 05:55 am (UTC)
WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.
xcherryblossomx 29th-Oct-2009 05:59 am (UTC)
because they want their legs to look longer and thin when they wear designer shoes >>
olive_101 29th-Oct-2009 05:55 am (UTC)
i like the fact i know how to walk. I'll pass even though i think my calves are pretty big. =/
ellystage 29th-Oct-2009 05:55 am (UTC)
Oh my god. Seriously? Fuck.
unsospiro 29th-Oct-2009 05:56 am (UTC)
erbalurbal 29th-Oct-2009 05:59 am (UTC)
lmao
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
jaebeom 29th-Oct-2009 06:01 am (UTC)
same. eeedkjfgdfg.
strawberry_efeu 29th-Oct-2009 05:56 am (UTC)
I don't have the nicest calves, but I wouldn't remove a muscle to make them slimmer. That's just crazy.
shanny_w 29th-Oct-2009 05:57 am (UTC)
It's really disturbing that people wont higher you based on being short. But thinning out your calf isn't going to hide your true height in the end.
xcherryblossomx 29th-Oct-2009 06:00 am (UTC)
they probably hire people based on the length of their skirt... the shorter the better
riot_o_curls 29th-Oct-2009 05:58 am (UTC)
I LIKE TO RUN, DANCE, AND WALK CARELESSLY UNDER THE SUN WITH THE HELP OF MY HEALTHY FAT CALVES THANK YOU VERY MUCH. DDDDDD:

i got goosebumps reading through all the procedures. scary shit, man.
chibi_rei 29th-Oct-2009 07:34 am (UTC)
WORD UP TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID

Shisus on a cracker wtf is up with people? I'll stick with my imperfect body thanks.
hellodee16 29th-Oct-2009 05:59 am (UTC)
WTF? damn, they do surgery for ANYTHING.

people, it's muscles... it's really not that bad. JFC.
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