Are the risks of a breast augmentation and lower body lift life-threatening?

I have excess skin after major weight loss and would like to undergo the above surgeries. I am aware of the risks involved in surgeries but I would like to know whether these risks (if they occur) would be life-threatening i.e. bleeding, blood clots. Thanks very much for your response in advance.

Doctor Answers 11

Are the risks of a breast augmentation and lower body lift life-threatening?

Yes, even a minor surgery can cause loss of life, but then so can a trip to the grocery store or nearest shopping mall. The real question is the degree of risk. For a normally healthy patient the risk of dying in an auto accident is about 50 times the risk of dying in the Operating Room assuming you have a well trained surgeon and board certified anesthesiologist in attendance. 

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Risk for combination procedures

Thank you for your question. Combination procedures are common and the risks depending on medical problems associated. When these procedures done in proper setting and by a experienced board certified PS, risks are low. It is unlikely any death risks. Please consult with a board certified PS for evaluation.

Ven Erella, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Body lift and breast augmentation - risks?

Thank you for asking about your breast augmentation and body lift.
  • Severe bleeding and blood clots can occur after any major surgery -
  • Blood clots can occur just after a long car ride -
  • But your surgeon will plan your surgery to minimize your risks and take every precaution necessary to reduce the risk of blood clots.
  • After your surgeon evaluates your health, discuss the additional risks you face - if any - and what extra planning may be needed.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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

Risk of lower body lift and breast augmentation life threatening?

Thank you for your questions.  It is always important to be in good health, consult with a board certified surgeon, and be medically cleared by a board certified anesthesiologist before pursuing any elective surgical procedure.  I wish you best of luck.

Combination procedures

Combination procedures can be performed safely and effectively. The risk of complications can increase with certain patient factors and other factors. Long operating times, typically greater than 7 hours are associated with complications such as blood clots. Patient factors such as medical comorbidities like diabetes,sleep apnea, smoking, and body mass index are associated with a higher risk profile. This forum is not an adequate one to address all the issues. The bottom line is that you should be evaluated in person on a case by case basis to determine if a combination body contouring procedure can be safely performed on you. Seeking a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who performs many body contouring procedures to discuss your goals and go over your specific risk profile is important in making the decision to operate.Best wishes,Dr. Ravi Somayazula

Ravi Somayazula, DO
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 63 reviews


The procedures you are considering are low risk surgeries when performed by a trained, skilled physician in a controlled surgical environment.  There is always risk to every surgery, but with proper precautions unexpected events are quite rare.  Speak with your surgeon about your concerns so that he/she can help you feel more comfortable with the process.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Rare events

In general, your procedures are safe when done under the proper circumstances, proper facility, and by a trained surgeon.  I would go and find a surgeon you trust.  You can most certainly do them separately as well.Best Wishes,
nana Mizuguchi, MD

Nana N. Mizuguchi, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Risks after body contouring

Dear Crista: When patients are selected appropriately life threatening risks are rare but possible. Blood clots that result in pulmonary embolism are possible but very rare in Breast Augmentations alone. There are many factors that your board certified plastic surgeon will review with you. Best wishes

Fernando Colon, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Combining surgeries

Depending on the area to be treated, the size of the area, the amount of tissue to be removed, the amount of separation between the two areas in order to preserve the blood supply to both and maximize the wound healing potential, your general health, the amount of time each procedure will take, and the experience of the surgeon with combination procedures, it is possible to have more than one operation at the same time.  The surgeon will need to discuss all of these issues with you and make a safe plan that will give you a well thought out, well executed operation with an excellent outcome.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Safety in body contouring

The complications you're describing can be life-threatening, IF not handled appropriately (such as taking you back to the operating room in the event of a hematoma to stop the bleeding).  Most of these issues are dealt with before surgery, such as using Heparin or Lovenox to prevent a blood clot, based on your Caprini score.  So, the surgery itself is not life-threatening, provided you go with a real plastic surgeon who knows how to be safe and with real anesthesiologists.

Cain R. Linville, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 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.