Pros and Cons of Having Breast Reduction with Tummy Tuck

After massive weight loss, I am looking to have both breast reduction and tummy tuck. I can't decide whether or not to do them together though. Putting finances aside, what are the benefits of doing them together or done separately? Would I heal better if I did one at a time?

Doctor Answers 10

The relative benefits and risks of combining procedures will vary, depending on your surgeon

Hi there-

My colleagues have done an excellent job of explaining the advantages and disadvantages of combining these procedures.

I think it is very important to add that, as with all other people, not all surgeons are created, educated, or trained equally, and our experiences also vary. This inevitably leads to varying skill levels with different procedures and varying efficiency in performing them, as well as in the outcomes achieved.

I know some surgeons who might take 8 or 9 hours to do this combination of procedures, while others may be able to offer you a beautiful outcome with a 5 hour operation.

In other words, whether or not combining the procedures is in your best interests is going to depend greatly on your surgeon and the outcome he/she can achieve for you WITHIN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Tummy tuck and breast reduction

Thank you for your question. A tummy tuck and breast reduction are great procedures to combine as they address some of big changes that happen after pregnancy or weight loss. It is often referred to as a mommy makeover. It is a bigger procedure and may often require a night in the hospital. I would consult with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options in more detail and would recommend combining the procedure as you will only have one recovery.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Combination Surgeries Can Be Safe

I routinely combine tummy tuck and even lower body lift with breast surgery.  That being said, I also insist on a detailed nutritional assesment (esp. in weight loss surgery patients), a strict dietary regimen including supplements, a look at labs to see if you are anemic.

I operate with an experienced OR team taht are my own staff I bring to the hopsital, and often a second doctor, so the procedures can usually be completed in a 6 hour time frame.   Building in "stopping points" in case of bleeding or low temperature during surgery also adds to the safety profile. 

The risk of blood clots after any long procedure tha entails immobility also is addressed, and I advocate preventative measures depending on your risk.

So overall I am not opposed to doing a more involved surgery, provided I have the proper team, detailed preparation, and a fully equipped facility to do so.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

It's OK to do breast reduction and tummy tuck together if you are young and healthy.


This is the conventional "mommy makeover".  It is usually fine to do breast reduction and tummy tuck together. But massive weight loss patients can have special medical issues.  So my advice is that your plastic surgeon and your internist have a conference.  If there is any question, do them separately.  Two recovery periods, but safer.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast reduction with tummy tuck

Without photos to see how you appear, there are  benefits and increased risks in combining these 2 operations. Benefits are 1 anesthesia, 1 healing episode. Risks are 2 anesthesias, 2 healing episodes, increase risks of complications. Go see 3 boarded PS's to get in person evaluations and details.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Combined Breast Reduction & Tummy Tuck

The main benefits from combining breast reduction and tummy tuck are economical.  There will probably be some cost advantage (I typically discount a second procedure) as well as a single period of downtime.  The disadvantage is the fact that complication rates rise in relation to operative time.  As with all procedures, you must weigh the benefits/risks.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Plusses and Minusses of combining Tummy tuck and Breast Lift after large weight loss

- Cheaper procedure (we always discount the cost of other procedures when done together with the main operation)
- A single recovery from both operations

MINUSSES of COMBINING a Tummy Tuck with a Breast Lift after a large Weight Loss
- Much longer operation under general anesthesia
- Much higher risk of complications (infection, pneumonia, blood clots (DVT) with possible clots to lungs)
- if complications do happen the cost of their medical care may require consulting with other doctors and or having other procedures (more expenses) and more than erase any savings of combining the operations
- more prolonged recovery (tender suture lines in different parts of the body)

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction Combination

The benefit to doing both at the same time is that you undergo one anesthesia and one recovery period.  As long as your surgeon is skilled enough to perform these surgeries together in a timely manner, then it is safe. For some women, it is ideal, but for others it may not be possible given the extent of the tummy tuck, etc. The risks go up the longer you are under general anesthesia, and that is why most surgeons have an absolute time limit they will not keep some one under anesthesia past. 

This combination usually takes about 4 - 5 hours to perform, but is done very often and is not an uncommon request.  Combining both really helps with the recovery as well, because if you do only the breasts first, then alot of women are really bothered by their abdomen now that their breasts are not hiding it to a degree.  I hope this helps.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Tummy tuck and breast reduction risks

There are different types of breast reductions and some take longer than others.  Your board certified plastic surgeon should be able to tell you how long your surgery might take and what the risks of combination procedures may be.  If your surgery is anticipated to take longer than about 4 hours (general rule of thumb), you may be increasing your risks too much. Although procedures or greater length are frequently done for reconstructive purposes, this is cosmetic and you would like to limit your risks.  Discuss this thoroughly with your plastic surgeon, do not be afraid to ask questions, and get a second opinion to see what the alternative options may be.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Risks of multiple procedures: breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

The risks primarily relate to a prolonged surgical procedure under general anesthesia and the potential for fatal blood clots. Blood loss is increased in combination procedures but should still be reasonable. Obviously combining the procedures will be convenient to condense the surgery into one time period whereas a staged plan will take significantly more time.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.