September 7, 2015
Nowadays, there are a lot of patients who undergo combined plastic surgery, this means that they undergo two or more surgeries at the same time. It is believed that in 2007 at least 42% of all patients of plastic surgery in the United States underwent combined surgeries, and this rate is increasing.
Most patients need two or more procedures to achieve the desired results, and in some cases the plastic surgeon can perform them at the same time. However, this depends on the type of surgeries that will be combined and the health conditions of the patient.
Many cosmetic procedures complement each other, and may create a fully rejuvenated, and more youthful appearance. Nevertheless, all the procedures have limitations, and they are combined according to each patient's unique needs and goals.
What are the pros of combining multiple plastic surgeries?
Experts say that undergoing multiple plastic surgeries at the same time has many advantages. Many patients need two or more procedures to achieve their desired results and combining them allows to minimize the number of exposures to anesthetics and recoveries. In addition, plastic surgeries costs include anesthesia fees, facility fees, and surgeon's fees. When a patient undergoes multiple surgeries at the same time, he/she just pays once for anesthesia and facility fees. Actually, some surgeons offer packages for certain procedures, saving money on surgeon's fees too.
What are the cons of combining multiple plastic surgeries?
One of the biggest concerns and disadvantages is that performing multiple procedures at the same time may increase the potential of complications. Likewise, combining surgeries may prolong the time under anesthesia, this increases the risk of cardiovascular complications and may extend the recovery period.
Experts recommend combining minor surgeries, or a minor surgery with a major surgery to avoid complications and excessive time under anesthesia. However, technological advances, and perfecting the surgical techniques made it possible to combine treatments maintaining the highest level of patient safety.
What are the commonly combined plastic surgeries?
A perfect example of the combination of several surgeries is the one called "Mommy Makeover". During this procedure, the plastic surgeon may perform a breast augmentation and/or breast lift and tummy tuck together, and in some cases tummy tuck with buttock lift. Although they are considered major surgeries, qualified plastic surgeons may perform them together without significantly prolonging the time under anesthesia.Current techniques even allow inserting the breast implants (if they are used) through the abdominal incisions.
Other procedures commonly combined are brow or forehead lift, face lift, and neck lift. Likewise, brow and face lift may be combined with eyelid lift. These are all performed on the face and are minor procedures, so when they are combined the patient obtains better results.These techniques are mainly required by patients older than 40 years of both genders.
Another usual combination is tummy tuck with liposuction. In this case, the plastic surgeon may remove the excess of fat and excess of skin from the abdomen at the same time,widely improving the outline of the abdomen.
One of the main reasons why patients undergo facelifts is to improve the appearance of his/her face and make it more youthful. So, in some cases, the plastic surgeon may combine a facelift with fat grafting. This allows to remove the excess of fat from other parts of the body and re-inject it into the cheeks to achieve better results. Many plastic surgeons also recommend combining surgeries only when the procedure is non-invasive or minimally invasive, just like injectable soft tissue fillers with a surgical procedure.
Some patients just want to improve the lower part of the body, in these cases is recommended to combine tummy tuck and thigh lift and/or buttock augmentation. The last can be performed by fat grafting or buttock implants, this depends on the patient's body and the desired results.
Another usual combination is an arm lift procedure with a breast lift and/or breast augmentation. In this case, the fat removed from the arms may be used through fat grafting for breast augmentation. Likewise, silicone or saline breast implants may be used.
In any case, patients who are considering undergoing multiple plastic surgeries at the same time should consult a qualified plastic surgeon with experience in the combination of cosmetic procedures, he/she can decide if combining procedures is the best option according to the specific characteristics of the patient.
When is performing multiple plastic surgeries at the same time contraindicated?
Patients who have been diagnosed with some chronic health diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes should talk with his/her plastic surgeon. In most cases, the best option is undergoing each procedure separately to avoid complications.
Some experts recommend avoiding non-sterile procedures (like rhinoplasty) combined with another procedure because this may increase the risk of infection. Likewise, some plastic surgeons claim that performing the sterile procedure in first place avoids the risk of infection.
Dr. Amjadi MD, DDS, FACS
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons
915 Gessner Rd #870
Houston, TX 77024
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