My doctor has recommended a 6 hours surgery for a full tummy tuck and liposuction of hips, thighs and knees. He is one of the best board certified doctors in Northern California and will operate in a surgery center with a great anesthesiology team. I had two other consultations, again both board certified. One suggested the same procedures in one day, the other absolutely refuses two procedures on the same day, he says it is too risky. I am 43 years old and in faily good shape, have had many unrelated surgeries before without complications. Is it really dangerous?
Are a Full Tummy Tuck and Liposuction of Hips and Thighs Together Safe?
Doctor Answers 4
Tummy tuck and liposuction
I think it is perfectly fine in most healthy individuals to perform both a tummy tuck and liposuction of specific areas in the same operative setting.
Combining a full tummy tuck with liposuction of the hips and thoughts
The combination of a tummy tuck and liposuction is a very popular one. This combination can very effectively contour the abdomen and torso. However, the most important priority is your safety. It is essential when using this combination to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is well experienced in, abdominoplasty, liposuction, and body contouring. Such a surgeon will keep in mind the duration of your procedure and also how much fat and tissue they plan to remove. If a large amount of fat will be removed during the same session as a tummy tuck, you may be better served to either change this into an inpatient procedure or to perform it separately.
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Risk of Surgery
There are risks associated with all surgeries. In every case, you must weigh the benefits and risks. The obvious benefits here are a single episode of recuperation and probable economic benefits. On the other hand, risks certainly increase with multiple surgeries and longer periods of anesthesia. This is a decision you must make in consultation with your surgeon, but make sure that facility in which the procedures are performed is certified. You will probably do fine, if certain precautions are taken ( intraoperative use of sequential stockings, early ambulation, etc.).
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Combining multiple procedures: Is it safe or dangerous?
Dangerous is a matter of risk taking and that depends on your risk tolerance.
Off the to pof my head and without citing any specific reference, various studies quote the risk of a fatality from abdominoplasty as low as 1 in 40,000 to as high as 1 in 3.500. Some people would say any risk is dangerous while others might say that the risk is tolerable.
The risk of combining multiple surgeries has been highlighted by the media. One of the concerns is the potential for deep venous thrombosis with pulmonary embolism (blood clot traveling to the lungs). This risk is elevated in prolonged surgery and may be even higher when combining liposuction and abdominoplasty. This resulted in the State if Florida temporarily placing a moratorium on these combined procedures in the office setting back in 2003. This has since been lifted after careful review of the data.
To the best of my knowledge, no one has really done an adequate study of whether two 3hour procedures is necessarily safer than one 6hour procedure. You are getting conflicting advice for several reasons: The vast majority of patients desire to "get it over with" in one procedure. However, many plastic surgeons intuitively feel that two procedures may be a "safer" option.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.