Are Multiple Procedures Safe?

I am a healthy 33 year old, 5'5, 140. Is it safe to have a tummy tuck, breast lift and lipo of the flanks and outer thighs done at the same time? My doctor says this is performed often together on healthy individuals, known as the mommy makeover. Also, would recovery time be faster if I separated the tummy tuck and lipo from the lift? Or is recovery the same even if all 3 procedures are performed together?

Doctor Answers 16

Does TheDoes A Mommy Makeover Make Sense Or Should I Divide The Mommy Makeover Into Its Separate Surgical Procedures?

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Certain assumptions have to be made to answer your question.  I am going to assume that when you say you are healthy, that means that your doctor would certify that you have no medical problems, that you are not taking any meds, and you don't smoke.  Your age, height and weight are all in your favor. 

Then one has to consider the skill of the Board Certified plastic surgeon you have chosen.  Will he or she accomplish the multiple surgeries you requested in a reasonable time frame.  Most breast lifts can be done in about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.  Most abdominoplasties can be done in about 2 to 2-1/2 hours.  Liposuction of two areas, even with tumescent, should be done in about 1 hour.  If the surgery is done by an experienced Board Certified plastic surgeon with a dedicated team (surgical tech, surgical nurse, Board Certified anesthesiologist, recovery room nurse), then I believe the surgeries you outlined could be done safely, would save you from multiple anesthesias, and I would also recommend an overnight stay to be sure you are closely monitored and you have alternating massage compression on your legs and calves to decrease the chance of stasis of blood in your legs, increasing the chance of blood clots. 

Given all these stipulations, I believe the short answer to your question is YES, if all the above is correct, then the surgery should be safe and the recovery faster than the combined individual recoveries.

Mommy Makeover Combined Procedures Safe In Healthy Patients

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Because of the TV show, "Extreme Makeover" the Mommy Makeover in which a Breast Augmentation and Lift (Augmentation Mastopexy) Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) and Liposuction of the Hips and Thighs has come into vogue.

Patients often ask to combine these procedures because they can save recovery time and often cost.

A large amount of research has shown that this combination is safe under the following circumstances:

  1. The patient is healthy
  2. The patient is properly protected against blood clots with compression stockings during surgery, proper pain control allowing them to walk soon after surgery and Lovenox anticoagulant treatment (if they are at increase risk for blood clots.)
  3. The amount of Liposuction aspirate removed is not excessive.

Since the introduction of pain pumps for abdominoplasty several years ago, it is much safer to combine these procedures because the pain from the tummy tuck is now well controlled.  This has allowed tummy tucks to be combined with breast enlargement procedures and breast enlargement with lift procedures without excessive pain.  Patients find it much easier to take deep breaths without as much pain and they get out of bed and start walking the night of surgery or the next morning.  This has greatly increased the safety of combination procedures.

Finally, much more is now known about who shouldn't have a combined procedure, because they are at a greater risk.  A good history and physical by a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is very important to determine who is a safe candidate and who needs extra protection from blood clots after surgery with Lovenox (a blood thinner) used for a few days after surgery.

With the above mentioned safeguards, a Mommy Makeover is a safe, highly rewarding procedure that can give excellent and even life changing results.  It saves the patient a tremendous amount of recovery time and usually costs less than the procedures performed seperately.





Multiple cosmetic procedures at the same time. Is it safe?

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A combination of a tummy tuck, breast lift and liposuction of the flanks and the thighs is frequently performed by many plastic surgeons. Generally, it is felt that elective procedures should be limited to six hours or less and they should only be performed by a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, in an accredited surgical facility or licensed hospital, with an  appropriate anesthesia provider. You need to have a consultation to see if you are an appropriate candidate. At that time, you can discuss the benefits and risks that would exist in your particular case which would depend on: your prior medical history, individual anatomy, desired outcome and realistic expectations.


The recovery period is generally related to whether a tummy tuck is performed, since that is the procedure that involves the greatest amount of discomfort. The liposuction and breast lift generally should not add any additional time to the recovery time of a tummy tuck. If you are an appropriate candidate, there are benefits of having the procedures performed together - including having only one trip to the operating room, one anesthesia and one recovery. Many patients prefer this while others prefer doing the procedures sequentially. Safety should always be the primary concern.




Robert Singer, MD FACS


Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Multiple Cosmetic Procedures. Is it safe?

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You are asking very intelligent questions. In general, the operation you are doing is considered to safe to do. However, it is a bigger one and smaller operations are easier to recover from and should be considered.

Smaller operations are recommended if the doctor can not do the operation under about four hours. If it will take longer, than I recommend separating the procedures. Longer operations have more of a chance of bleeding, infection, and other problems compared to shorter operations. But the risks are still low overall.

Separating operations has two other down sides. The expense can go up, and you need a second recovery period. These are factors that push people to do it all at once. The tummy tuck will require a longer recovery. The breast lift will be shorter.

Only do them together if you are totally healthy. Smoking or diabetes for example might be factors to make you do separate operations.

Good Luck!

Christopher Saunders, MD
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Multiple procedures

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Dear Leo12,

well I disagree with my colleagues here.

I understand you are healthy, and not overweight. nevertheless, us, women,  are still at a higher risk for blood clots during long procedures because of female hormones. And especially if you take the pill too.

I assume you have a busy life with children, family, work ?

if you were my patient, I would tell you to divide the procedures and make it easier on yourself:

first the breast lift and liposuction. so you can be on your feet the same day, and walk around. you will bounce fast and should be allowed to lift your children at 3 weeks, and resume a normal ( busy )  activity.

then the tummy tuck 6 months or 1 year later. the recovery will be like a C-section: 1 or 2 weeks off from work, 6 weeks no exercise. It is a little more "involving ".

But frankly, a "mommy make-over" with pain in both your breasts and tummy post-op. is a little hefty to recover at once on top of 6 hours of general anesthesia with potential risks.

you should discuss all these issues with your board-certified Plastic surgeon.

Good luck,

Florence Mussat, M.D.

Florence Mussat, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Are Multiple Procedures Safe?

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Multiple procedures are totally safe on a healthy indivdual as long the surgery is kept to under 6 hours.

Mommy makeovers are safe and for what you having done the surgery time is less then 6 hours.

It's always best to do it together why recover two separate times.

Always discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Michael A. Fiorillo, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

The Safety of Multiple Surgical Procedures

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Thank you for the question. It is not uncommon for multiple procedures to be done at the same time. I try to keep the time under anesthesia less than 6 hours. The number of procedures and the type of procedures one can do will depend on the overall health of the person. Do they have any comorbidities (health problems) and if they do how well  are they controlled?

Your recovery will be most affected by whether or not you have an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with the other procedures. This is what most patients will complain of, the tightness and pain, post-operatively. Therefore if you are able to have all of the procedures done at once you will recover, not faster, but will require only one recovery period.

It is important that you consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon so that they may evaluate if you would be a good candidate for surgery and if all of the procedures can be done at the same time safely.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Multiple procedures

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Frequently multiple procedures are performed together as long as the patient is in good health without significant history of medical problems.  However, when multiple procedures are done together, the risk of complications is higher, especially the longer the procedure takes.  You should discuss the risks with a board certified plastic surgeon, as well Aas have them evaluate you to make sure they feel that you are a good candidate to do the procedures at the same time.  Doing things together, if possible, allows for one recovery period and one anesthetic period.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Multiple procedures in mommy makeover

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In healthy patients, these procedures are not unreasonable to combine in one surgery.  The breast lift does not add significant recovery time after tummy-tuck.  That being said, prolonged procedures (particularly when combined with tummy-tuck) can increase complications, such as blood-clots (also known as DVT).  However, the risk is still very low.   I would not recommend combining these procedures to my patients if they have any significant medical problems, use tobacco, or are using homone-replacement medications.  As always, it is important to discuss these procedures with a reputable, board-certified Plastic Surgeon.

Jarrod Little, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Are Multiple Procedures Safe?

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The safety issue revolves primarily about the length of the surgery. Six hours is the commonly quoted upper end for safety, and I usually prefer 4 hours. Depending on the patient and the surgeon, it may well be that the procedures can be done in one setting.

As far as recovery, the tummy tuck is the rate limiting factor. In many or most patients having combined surgery, the only pain complaints are for the abdomen. 

Thanks and best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.