Is Seven Hours Too Long For Mommy Makeover?

Hi, I am having a breast lift, tummy tuck and a hernia repair. When the surgeon said it would take seven hours I was shocked. Is that how long it usually takes? Isn't it dangerous to be under that long? Would it make a difference to have the surgeries separate?

Doctor Answers 9

About the Mommy Makeover Procedure

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.  

#Combined operations are often performed with our #Gynecology colleagues. Tubal ligation is a common post pregnancy procedure which is done at the time of many of the surgeries included with a #MommyMakeover. If you require a gynecologic operation or study (laparoscopy) and are considering a plastic surgery procedure, discuss these issues with your physician and board-certified plastic surgeon. Also, combining these #procedures may decrease anesthetics, costs, and recovery time.

In addition to a one-on-one consultations with a board certified Plastic Surgeon, patients always need to be seen by their primary care doctor prior to such procedures.  We screen every patient and their medical records for risks of blood clots (DVT) and then take appropriate measures.  MWL (massive weight loss patients of  75 lbs or more) tend to have poor skin elasticity and will frequently need additional tightening even afte 6 -12 months regardless of who or how their surgery is performed. This is simply the nature of such body tissues and the ability to heal with the lack or limited elasticity. 

Your procedures should be performed by a #PlasticSurgeon who is board-certified and has a great deal of experience specializing in cosmetic #surgery. You will then greatly improve your chances of getting the result you desire, and, without the need for a revision surgery. It is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Is Seven Hours Too Long For Mommy Makeover?

Thank you for your question. This time frame is common, and since the blood loss is minimal for these procedures, this is not usually seen as a big risk.  The biggest risk is usually waking up, and having the tube removed from your throat, and not the time per se.  All surgery is a risk, but so is driving a car. The risks of long surgeries is more a problem when liposuction is done for long periods of time and there is more blood loss.  I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Combined Procedures

Although multiple procedures can be safely performed in one setting, seven hours seems a long time for a tummy tuck, breast lift, and what I am assuming is a ventral (abdominal wall) hernia.  Admittedly, I don't know the complexity of your hernia.  Some complex hernia can take several hours to repair due to bowel involvement.  Your surgeons can best address this with you because they have examined you and know your history.

Perhaps you should explore breaking the procedure down to smaller procedures and having them done in stages.  It may be safer and more comfortable for your recovery to, as they say, come back and "fight another day."   Should you opt for such a a lengthy procedure, I would suggest you have the procedure done by a board certified plastic surgeon only in a hospital setting where you can stay overnight to facilitate your recovery and have that extra level of postoperative care/monitoring.  Best wishes and be safe.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX


C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Complications from surgery increase as operations exceed four hours.

Seven hours is a long time to operate on anyone. From studies we know that complications increase significantly when operating time exceeds four hours.

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

Length of Surgery

Often a breast lift and a tummy tuck that requires a hernia repair can be a timely procedure. Surgery time will vary depending on how complex each procedure is. A skin-only tummy tuck is a less invasive surgery and can take a shorter period of time. However, a full tummy tuck in need of an abdominal wall and hernia repair is a much more extensive procedure, requiring more time. I would suggest having all this done at the same time, as the recovery is not additive, but accumulative, and can be accomplished at the same time. This can also be beneficial because you can achieve one aesthetic, which will reduce the expense, without the risk of multiple surgeries. I would recommend obtaining multiple quotes to compare and contrast your condition so you can make an appropriate judgement with the length or your surgery. All the best --Dr. Cohen


Michael D. Cohen, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Is Seven Hours Too Long for A Mommy Makeover?

Seven hours is too long..  Most surgeons who perform mommy makeovers can complete them in 4 hours.  In Pennsylvania it is against the state regulations to perform any outpatient surgery over 4 hours.  If more time is needed the procedures should be broken up or be coupled with an overnight stay in a licensed facility.  Choose your surgeon carefully.  Good Luck!

Brian K. Reedy, MD
Reading Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Seven Hours

Seven hours may seem like a long time, but you must understand, every surgeon goes at their own pace. In my past, I have limited the surgical time to five hours especially if used under general anesthesia. If more time is needed, then consider a second stage. All the best.

Thomas A. Narsete, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Is Seven Hours Too Long For Mommy Makeover?

     A tummy tuck, full breast lift, and hernia repair can be performed in 4 hrs, which is a safe period of time under general anesthesia.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of breast lifts and tummy tucks each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Mommy Makeover and Duration of Surgery?

Combination surgical procedures are done on a routine basis. However,  it is best to evaluate each patient on an individualized basis. During this consultation process, after a complete history and physical, the SAFETY  of combining these surgical procedures becomes of paramount importance.  Plastic surgeon, anesthesia provider, duration of surgery, surgery facility will all be important  considerations.

If in doubt, staging the procedures is the best way to go.  It will be important for you to have peace of mind before committing to surgery;  second opinion in person consultations may also be helpful to you in this regard.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 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.