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Cosmetic Surgery Procedures for Bodybuilders


Bicep Implants Information

Bicep implants for bodybuilders are used to bulk up the appearance of the bicep muscles to give the look of having been in the gym for hours working out the bicep muscles.

It is most important to evaluate the entire body of any patient looking to have body contouring with implants. Most patients, men especially, will usually ask for the largest implant made. Without evaluating the rest of the body, it is easy to over-do the implant size and get a result that looks disproportionate All bicep implants are made of a silicone material. The implants are soft, solid silicone.

Before the Surgery

For cosmetic enlargement, one implant is usually used in each bicep and is placed either under the investing fascia of the of the bicep muscle or under the bicep muscle.

Usually the implant length and projection is determined by the length of the patient's own muscle. Sometimes this is problematic when the patient's muscle is short in proportion to the length of the arm. In most cases the implant size can be adjusted to match the muscle pocket.

In those patients that require a size or design that is unique, a moulage (mold) of the bicep area will generally need to be done before the implant can be constructed. In some cases the implant will be sculpted in wax, adjusted to the individual patient's bicep and then send it out to be duplicated. All of these procedures will increase the length of time needed before surgery can be scheduled. It will also generally increase the cost.

As with all surgery, certain medicines, smoking and most supplements along with alcohol and recreational drugs must be stopped for several weeks prior to surgery. Anabolic steroids including large-dose testosterone should be stopped at least 6 weeks or more prior to surgery. Many drugs and supplements can cause blood not to clot leading to a number of complications. Follow your surgeon's orders exactly.

The Surgery

The technique is the same in men or women. A 1 to 2 inch incision is made in the axilla crease (the lines in the underarm) and deepened to extend through the fascia that covers the muscle. Once this investing fascia is opened, the pockets that will receive the implants are easily developed. Bicep implants placed subfascially are placed within the muscle compartments under the investing fascia but on top of the actual muscle fibers. Bicep implants placed under the muscle are simply placed between the humerus (upper arm bone) and the bicep muscle. The operation will usually last about 2 hours. It can be done under local, regional, or general anesthesia. Once the implants are in place, the incisions are closed.

Post Surgery and Recovery

The patient will be more comfortable if a long acting (usually about 10-12 hours) local anesthetic is left in each implant compartment. Compression garments are placed and these will be worn for about 2-3 weeks. There are generally no bandages. Patients are advised to go home to bed for 24 hours. After that they can get up for eating or the bathroom but they still need to be off their feet for about a week with the legs elevated. This may stretch into 2-3 weeks if there is unusual swelling or bruising. Their post-surgery activities are restricted severely for about 6 weeks, especially gym activity.

Discomfort following the surgery can be quite variable. Women seem to have less pain than men, but that is across the board in all surgical procedures. Pain is to be expected, especially for the first 48 hours. The long acting local anesthetic helps with the immediate post-surgical pain. Keeping the arms elevated will reduce the swelling and therefore reduce pain. An antibiotic, something specifically for pain, something to reduce inflammation, possibly something for muscle spasms, and occasionally something for sleep will be prescribed by the doctor. Take medications exactly as prescribed and with no other drugs. In these days of exotic medications, interaction and cross-reaction of medications is not too uncommon.

Follow-up visits to the doctor vary with each physician but patients are usually seen 2 days post-op, then weekly for 3 weeks, then at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and annually thereafter. Patients that are from out-of-town have their schedule adjusted to their needs.

Risks & Complications

Complications may occur, particularly in patients who do not follow instructions well and insist on returning to work or to the gym too early. This may result in hematoma (bleeding), excess swelling and/or other problems. The outside scar will heal in about 10 days but the area surrounding the implants will take about 6 weeks to heal. Therefore the patient needs to be careful with his activities. Delayed complications such as infection or implant displacement are relatively rare. Once the implants are healed in place, it is unlikely that they will shift unless the patient receives a severe blow to the area (one that would normally do injury to a muscle or break a bone).

The Cost

Cost for bicep implants vary from region to region. In the Eastern US, the average cost is $5,500 for the surgeon's fee plus cost of the implant material, facility and anesthesia. An overall average in the East is $7,500. In the Western part of the US, the average surgeon's fee is $6,000 plus cost of the implant material, facility and anesthesia. An overall average in the West is $8,000

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Explore your options and consider all alternatives. If you haven't tried going the route of an effective workout routine, read "Build Big Muscles Fast. Gain Muscle Mass Guide" by Chris Chew.


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View before and after photos of these procedures.

Preview our gallery of before and after photos, showing the results patients have achieved with pectoral implants, calf implants, bicep implants and gluteal implants.

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There is a lot of information online to help you in making your choices and decisions about these procedures. As with all cosmetic surgery, after you have done the proper research, you should have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon before making any decisions about surgery.

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