Should I have lipo of back and flanks done first, or tummy tuck and breast augmentation?

Which procedure should I have done first...lipo of my back and flanks or tummy tuck and breast augmentation? I know you can have the procedures combined, but there's an issue. I gave a large deposit to a doctor to do my lipo/tummy tuck. A few weeks later, I came across a doctor I felt more comfortable with. I don't want to sacrifice my deposit already paid, so I decided to split the procedures. Which should I do first to optimize the results and how long in between?

Doctor Answers 15

Shall I split procedures

Hi and thanks for your question. 

I would be surprised if your original Plastic Surgeon wouldn't refund most if not all of your deposit for the surgery as long as they have plenty of time to re-fill the space left on their operating list. It would be quite reasonable for them to retain an admin fee, however, all surgeons and practices have different policies. I'm a little surprised you left such a large deposit if you didn't feel comfortable with the original surgeon, and if you did why seek out a subsequent opinion? 

Moving forward, I would typically suggest combining all of your procedures (less recovery, less anaesthetic, less cost) as they are commonly and safely performed at one time. If you are committed to the first Plastic Surgeon, maybe see if you can reduce the extent (and cost) of your lipo to only those areas that can't be reached when lying on your back. It may even be that these areas are amenable to a local anaesthetic procedure. If so, I would be confident in proceeding with the tummy tuck/ breasts/ remaining lipo under a general anaesthetic as soon as you felt up to it. It will take at least 6 weeks to completely recover from your tummy tuck in most instances so please factor that in to your timetable. As long as you're being cared for by a specialist (board certified) Plastic Surgeon, you'll be in good hands. 

Tummy, breasts, and Lipo

The procedures you mentioned could be done safely and effectively at the same time by a board certified plastic surgeon.  Please do not compromise your health, safety and cosmetic outcome on someone you do not have complete trust in.

John D. Symbas, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Multiple procedures

Thank you for the question.

To best help you, a physical examination or picture evaluation is required in order to determine which procedures and techniques will be best for your case.

Dr. Campos

Jaime Campos Leon, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 252 reviews

Staging procedures

You should wait 3 months between general anesthetics.  Personally, I would do the breast and tummy first, because touch-ups could be done at the time of the lipo, if needed.

Frederick G. Weniger, MD, FACS, MBA
Hilton Head Island Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

If healthy all of these operations might be done together.

A combination of breast and body contouring surgery including abdominoplasty with liposuction is commonly done. It would require you to be in good health and would be done at the discretion of the surgeon you choose.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Sacrificing a bit of money versus sacrificing happiness and/or safety

Hi there-

If I told you that it may be that you never look as good as you could have if you had had the same excellent surgeon perform both procedures for you would you change your thinking?...

In most cases, I think you are more likely to be happy with both your experience and your outcome if you choose one excellent surgeon to address all of your needs. There is a lot to be said for having one skilled professional with a unified vision and plan for your well being and outcome.

Obviously I understand your financial concerns in this situation... but I think that in the big scheme of things, it may be in your best long term interests to think about the loss of the deposit as money well spent (learning that the surgeon you gave it to was not the best one for you).

If you do choose to have two different surgeons perform your procedures, I would say that which to do first would depend a lot on your individual examination- in other words, it would not be possible for me to make a recommendation to you without examining you in person (and feel like it was a responsible recommendation)...

I hope that helps in some way.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Staging multiple procedures

I would keep the order that you have. I would do the tummy tuck first. Allow 3-6 months for healing and softening of tissues. Then do liposuction of her back. Good luck.

Liposuction first or later

Thank you for your liposuction question.
Hard call - why are you uncomfortable with your liposuction surgeon?
Did you check with the Composite Medical Board of GA and in find s/he has complaints lodged?
Was the Surgery Center to be used not accredited?
 Qualifications of the surgeon?
Is the doctor not trained in Plastic Surgery?
These are some reasons not to have this surgeon do any surgery.

So I would suggest you have the doctor your prefer - - presumably a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon using an accredited outpatient Surgery Center - do your tummy tuck and breast augmentation.
If the deposit you paid was for surgery, not for the administrative fees involved, and if you paid by credit card, you can recoup the money via your credit card company.

Let the surgeon you trust give you advice on this -
S/he may know things about the other doctor that you do not.
S/he may help  to persuade the other surgeon to refund a portion of your deposit. 
We have recently in GA had a major problem with catastrophic complications from a doctor doing liposuction with inadequate, if any training. I would hate you to put your life in jeopardy by having surgery by a doctor just because you paid money but do not trust her/him. Best wishes

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Plastic surgery

You can certainly have all the procedures done at the same time. I'm not sure why you would break up the procedures. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


Seems like the best answer is to try and get your deposit back.Many if not most docs will do this as long as not canceling at the last minute.Then have all the procedures with the physician you trust the most.Which to do first should depend on your priorities and appropriate healing time available

Robert Savage, MD (retired)
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 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.