Is a tummy tuck with lipo and breast lift too much for the body to recover from at once?

My surgeon says he will only do a full tummy tuck with lipo separately from a breast lift. He says he doesn't like to do surgeries of longer than 3.5 hours. He recommends I come back in six months time after a full tummy tuck with lipo for a breast lift. Any advice on this front? I'm an American living in Prague and consulting with a Czech surgeon who works on international clients.

Doctor Answers 12

Including Liposuction with a Mommy Makeover

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It's difficult to suggest without a in-person one-on-one consultation. 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Mommy Makeover

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Many surgeons, including myself, will combine these surgeries. It is often referred to as a Mommy Makeover. Obviously, it depends on the health of the client, but I would suggest that you seek a second opinion from another board certified plastic surgeon in your area (link below) who might be willing to combine the surgeries. Best, Dr. Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Multiple procedures

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Most Mommy makeovers involve Breast and Tummy Tuck procedures being done at the same time. There are considerations for the patients overall health and the recovery. Frequently an overnight hospital stay is used for monitoring the patient after a long anesthetic. This is all for your safety. The one recovery and time off work is attractive to many people. Best to visit with more than one Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and find someone who specializes in Mommy makeover type procedures.

James A. Hoffman, MD
Saint Paul Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Advice regarding performance of multiple procedures.

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Multiple surgical procedures can safely be performed at the same time providing; it is done by an experienced, properly trained plastic surgeon with a team who routinely and efficiently performs combination procedures, the patient is properly selected for the procedures and proper safety guidelines are closely adhered to.
One of the most important factors in performing several procedures at the same time is the length of surgery. Although there is no universally agreed upon time limit most surgeons would probably agree that the limit falls between 4-6 hours. Many surgeons use 5 hours as a limit. Complication rates begin to rise as the length of surgery exceeds this time frame. In order to safely and effectively perform several procedures within this timeframe it is very important that the surgeon and his or her team are highly trained and routinely perform these combinations in an efficient manner.
A very important member of the team is the anesthesiologist. An anesthesiologist who routinely performs with the team understands the various details important to an ideal outcome and ideal postoperative recovery.
In order to properly select patients for lengthy surgical procedure such as this many factors need to be taken into consideration. Some these include the patient's BMI, any history of pulmonary problems, a history of sleep apnea, and the presence of diabetes or heart problems. Every patient should undergo a risk assessment for the development of a DVT (blood clot) and/or pulmonary embolism. If a significant risk is identified appropriate steps must be taken to satisfactorily reduce the risk.
When preparing a patient for a combination procedure it is very important to properly educate them on what to expect during the recovery and the homecare they will need.
Many patients comment that the results of these combinations are truly life-changing. Fortunately today, these life-changing combination procedures can be safely performed as long as it is done by highly trained and efficient surgical teams on properly selected patient's with safety as the primary consideration.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Depends on the surgeon

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Different surgeons have different requirements for surgery.  In my practice, I will consider longer surgeries up to 6 or 8 hours for the appropriate patients.  You should go to the surgeon you feel most comfortable with, but other surgeons may consider doing both surgeries together.

Tummy tuck, lipo, breast lift

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Hello, it is not uncommon for breast and abdominal surgeries to be done at the same time but the surgeon will take into consideration exactly what needs to be done, the person's overall health, location of surgery (e.g. overnight in hospital vs outpatient clinic), etc.  If you are unsure, it is best to get another proper consultation.

Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift together

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Hello, and thank you for your question.

It is very common to have multiple procedures at once these days and surgery up to six hours-as long as you are healthy and or cleared for surgery.

I routinely complete mommy makeovers with the exact same proedures you are having- all at one time.  The benefit is one healing session, less time off work work and your normal life, and saving money on the OR fees, which are higher if you pay them twice.

If you do have underlying health issues that haven't been disclosed, I could understand this recommendation.  Again, if you are healthy, and with general anesthesia being safer than it has ever been, it just may be your surgeons personal preference.

I truly hope your doctor is credentialed by the approciate organizations, and that your care is stellar.

All the best to you.

Dr. Obeng
Beverly Hills, CA

Michael K. Obeng, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon


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We specialize in mommy makeovers.
The surgery lasts between 5 to 6 hours and it is not an issue for a healthy patient.
The experience and knowledge of the PS surgeon will determine  how fast he can do each procedure,

Martin Yanez, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

Combining procedures

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Each surgeon has his limit of time for a combination of surgical procedures.  In my community it is around 5-6 hours which is enough time to perform most breast lifts with and abdominoplasty.  Depending on the size of the breasts and the time required, they are typically combined with a tummy tuck surgery.  If you are in good health you should be able to handle more that 3.5 hours of surgery

David R. Alfonso, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Mommy makeover = tummy tuck + breast surgery in one session

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While each plastic surgeon will recommend what they believe is safest in their own setting, in the U.S. it is common to combine a tummy tuck, lipo, and a breast procedure in one surgery; that is in fact the definition of a "mommy makeover." I prefer to limit anesthesia time to 5 or 6 hours but your surgeon may have a specific reason for a shorter time. Good to ask plenty of questions when you get different opinions.

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