Can I Combine Plastic Surgery with Another Medical Procedure?

I have a rectocele that needs to be surgically fixed. I also want a tummy tuck/lipo at the same time. The reason for this is so that I will have one recovery period, less time off from work instead of going thru two recoveries, and hopefully save some coast since my insurance is paying for the rectocele. Will two specialists work together for my situation?

Doctor Answers 9

Combining procedures

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It is usually okay to combine procedures in plastic surgery.  For example, the combination of a tummy tuck and hysterectomy is a common request.  Combining the rectocoele repair may be a bit trickier.  My main concern would be the increased risk of infection combining the clean case with the contamination involved in rectal surgery. much depends on what is involved with the rectal surgery.  If both surgeons agree that it is feasible however, the combo could be done safely.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


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It sounds like it would be a good question for the right PS that is willing to do both surgeries at the same time. Not a lot of doctors are willing to do it. Just make sure you talk to your surgeon and that they both agree on both surgeries being done together. Good luck


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Combining cosmetic surgery with an unrelated procedure

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In my area, the hospitals have such strict rules about this, because pure cosmetic surgery OR time is on a different hourly, fee for service rate than what they bill the insurance companies, that they will not combine procedures. I personally do not want to have a tummy tuck patient with complications from an unrelated procedure performed at the same time. There are real misconceptions in the patient population that combining the procedures will save money.

Combine Cosmetic with Reconstructive Surgery

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Yes, you can have the tummy tuck with the rectocoele correction provided:

  • both surgeons operate at the same hospital(s)
  • the two surgeons agree on who is responsible for what aspects of your after-care
  • the cosmetic surgery is done after the reconstructive surgery
  • there is no fecal contamination of the area from the rectocoele correction - this would greatly increase the risk of infection.

Many women want to combine surgery like this. It makes sense - and just a little extra planning for you and your surgeons. Best wishes.

Can be done but there are factors to consider

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A combination of noncosmetic procedure with cosmetic ones is common.  For example, a hernia repair in the belly button or the abdomen is done fairly commonly along with a tummy tuck.  With regard to a rectocele, I would recommend that you follow your plastic surgeon and your general surgeon's advice.  With that said, the process of fixing a rectocele is considered "dirty" in the sense that the surgical environment is often contaminated with contents of the colon or rectum.  This has to be separated from a completely sterile environment that is required in a tummy tuck.  My first inclination is that the two be done separately since a rectocele may cause contamination in the tummy tuck procedure.  

Richard H. Lee, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Rectocoele repair and TT

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Provided no contamination by intestinal contents occurs during the rectocoele repair, this seems like an appropriate combination of procedures. 

Because of the importance  of avoiding constipation for recovery from the rectocoele repair and the increased narcotic pain med needs for the combined operation, heed carefully to the pre-op dietary instructions that your surgeon will give. Ask your primary surgeon to suggest a plastic surgeon with whom he/she is comfortable working with. 

Thanks for the question, best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Combo procedures and safety

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Multiple procedures can be done safely, but it depends on your health status (past medical history), your anatomy, and the amount of surgery/type of procedures to be done.  On longer cases, an overnight stay may be recommended.  Please talk to your plastic surgeon to get their thoughts on the matter as they are most familiar with your medical history and overall health status. 
Please confirm that your plastic surgeon is board certified plastic surgeon specifically by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Remember, safety first.  You can always come back and fight another day.

Best wishes,

Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

Can I combine elective surgery with another surgical procedure?

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Thanks so much for your question.  Yes, it is very common to combine elective cosmetic procedures with more traditional medical procedures.  It really depends on the discretion of the surgeons and the procedures themselves.  In your specific case some surgeons might have reservations because the rectocele procedure is not as clean of a medical procedure as others.  This might increase your overall chances of post-operative infection.  Also performing a tummy tuck might change your intra-abdominal pressure and this might cause increase pressure on the rectocele repair.  Talk to your surgeon for their specific advice.

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Cosmetic operations can be done concurrently with non-cosmetic operations.

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One very common combination of procedures is a hysterectomy and abdominoplasty.  The safety of this combination has been studied, and in the properly selected patient, it is perfectly suitable to perform both together.

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.