One of the most common questions we hear during consultations with patients considering mommy makeovers is whether it’s safe to combine multiple surgical procedures during a single operation. It’s a good question and one that we take very seriously. Whether a patient is from Whitefish or Missoula, as plastic surgeons we want you to trust that our surgical recommendations are made with your safety as our top priority.
Because this question comes up fairly often, I decided to use this blog post to explain the pros and cons of combining surgical procedures and emphasize why mommy makeovers are among the most common and safest examples of this type of cosmetic surgery.
In addition to mommy makeover procedures, body contouring surgery after significant weight loss is another situation in which it makes sense to combine procedures. There are several benefits to taking this approach to aesthetic surgery:
Cost savings: There are certain fees that patients pay (besides the surgeon’s fee) when they undergo surgery. The most common examples are operating room and anesthesiology fees. By combining procedures, patients only pay those fees once.
Recovery: Recovering after surgery is typically uncomfortable and requires planning and help from family and friends. It’s tolerable, but most patients greatly appreciate the idea of only going through a single recovery.
Fewer doctor appointments: Because there is only a single operation, the number of pre-op and post-op doctor visits is far fewer.
There is a point at which it’s safer and makes more sense to perform multiple procedures in staged operations. In these cases, patients wait until they are completely healed before undergoing an additional surgery after the first operation. There are 2 main drawbacks of combining procedures.
Our primary concerns with combined procedures are the increased risk of complications and the amount of time a patient is under general anesthesia. Because mommy makeovers and other combination procedures are customized for each patient, the length of time the surgery takes varies. How much time is safe? That depends on the patient’s overall health, but in general a 6-hour surgery is the upper limit.
This is something that we discuss with each patient during the consultation. A mommy makeover, which typically involves cosmetic breast surgery, such as breast augmentation, and a tummy tuck and liposuction, can usually be performed in well under 6 hours.