How Many Cosmetic Surgery Procedures Can Safely Be Done at One Time?

I would like to get a tummy tuck, lipo on flanks, breast lift with implants, facelift, rhinoplasty, neck lift and eyelids done. How many surgeries will I need? I really don't want to be under anesthesia too long. If I need more than two, what length of time should I wait between surgeries?

Doctor Answers 13

Multiple procedures and safety

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There are couple considerations for multiple procedures done at the same time.  Obviously, the safety should be our number one concern.  With several procedures, the operative time could be very long.  As operative time gets longer, complication rate (infection, bleeding) becomes higher.  In addition, your recovery will be tougher with so many surgeries all over your body.  Some patients may want multiple surgery in one session to avoid multiple recovery.  However, it will be best to limit surgery so that the operative time is less than 6-8 hours.

Combined Procedure Plans

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Multiple procedures can be done safely but there is a limit.  Given your lengthy list of procedures, you will need to prioritize your goals.  What is the #1 area of importance to you?  Please visit with a board certified PS to learn more about your options.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Multiple Procedures May Require Separate Surgeries

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It sounds as though your list of surgeries would exceed what most Board Certified Plastic Surgeons would deem safe. We usually prefer to limit surgical time to about six hours, and I like to see at least 4-6 months between surgeries so that you can sufficiently recover from the first and get your strength and immune system strong again. You should consider staging these procedures by discussing them with your surgeon and making plans in advance.

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Combining procedures

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It sounds like you would like to have many procedures done.  The biggest advantage to combining procedures is cost; but the biggest disadvantage to combining procedures is safety.  Typically, you don't want your surgery to be longer than 6-8 hours in length.  I would suggest that you discuss the procedures you are interested in with a board certified plastic surgeon.  He or she can then better guide you on how many procedures to have at one time and which ones.  Based on the procedures you are discussing, you would most likely need at least two separate surgeries, maybe even three.  These surgeries will need to be spaced far enough apart to allow you to recover adequately before proceeding to the next one.  Good luck!


Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

How many procedures in one operation?

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Thank you for your question about having a tummy tuck, liposuction, facelift and other operations. Assuming you are healthy and slim, I would suggest:

  • go by time. Never longer than 7 hours total. Ideally 5.
  • Combine face lift with neck lift, eyelids and rhinoplasty
  • Combine tummy tuck with liposuction and breast lift/implants
  • Your surgeon should do the most important procedure first - postpone others if surgery goes on too long,
  • 6 weeks or more (ideally) between operations.
  • Hope this helps! Best wishes.

Cosmetic Surgery is an Art and a Science

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Thanks for the question. It seems you want a full body makeover, and I normally do them in stages. You can discuss this with your surgeon who can give you a better idea. Give yourself a few weeks inbetween the surgeries to recover and get your strength. Best Wishes  Dr Thomas Narsete  austin, Tx

Combination cosmetic surgery: What you need to know

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The advantages of combining procedures are clear: lower overall cost, one recovery time. But at some point safety issues become a concern, and this depends on a few factors. One is the length of the surgery, because longer anesthesia times can increase the risk of complications and prolong the recovery. My goal is to keep the total surgery time under 6 hours, so we won't schedule one estimated to go longer than 5 so we don't have to rush. The tummy tuck, lipo, and breast lift with implants might be OK, then the facial procedures at another time.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Your Wish List is too Long for One Surgery

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There are many things to consider in combining procedures as my colleagues have mentioned such as overall health, age,  size of the procedure and overall surgery time.  You should also consider how much of your body will be out of commission.  In doing an abdominoplasty you will need to rely on your arms more to move around as moving your legs relies on your core abdominal muscles which will hurt.  Doing your breasts with implants you will want to restrict your arms a bit and use your legs more.  The longer the procedure the higher the risk of blood clots and the more important post-op ambulation will be so you will need to be up and around a bit for safety's sake and with an abdominoplasty your surgeon may want you on blood thinners so all your face and neck procedures may be best saved for a different day.  Depending on how complicated your procedures are and all the other factors I would say you need at least two procedures and perhaps three.  Don't scrimp on safety or quality for the sake of quantity.  Be selective and patient and please make sure you choose a Board Certified Plastic (not cosmetic) Surgeon.  There is a difference.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Keep cosmetic surgery procedures under 6 hours

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You have listed probably 12 to 18 hours worth of cosmetic surgical procedures on your wish list. I would try to break up your surgical plan in two or better yet, three stages. Each time keeping the overall length of surgery at 6 hours or less. The time between each surgery is up to you and your surgeon but generally 3 to 6 months is reasonable provided that you have recovered sufficiently to undergo subsequent surgery. Don't try to cram more procedures into each surgery since you want each procedure to do performed thoroughly and meticulously. At the end of the day you want surgeries that are performed properly so you can get the best results possible.

Best Wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

How Many Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

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It isn't a matter of how many, since if a surgeon or a surgical team has the stamina, there are examples of surgical procedures taking as many as 20-24 hours. But these are necessary life saving procedures. Here, we are talking of cosmetic, very elective, surgery. As surgeons, we are trying to deliver a result for our patients with the absolute minimum of risk. Staistics indicate a significant rise in risk for cases over 6 hours. In our office we try to limit procedures to 5 hours, that way if we underestimate, we are still inside the safety zone. So with our timing, you could do the facial surgery in one episode and the body work at a separate time. And of course that is assuming you have no significant health issues and that your BMI is no higher than 29.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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.