I Am Having a Spinal Fusion in March, is It Safe to Have a Tummy Tuck 2 Months Prior?

I am scheduled to have a thoraco-lumbar fusion in the beginning of March. Meanwhile, I would like to have lipo assisted fat transfer to the buttocks with a tummy tuck. 1) is this enough time to heal? 2) will the 'growing' i do from the fusion (1 - 1 1/2 inches) affect the tummy tuck 3) is it enough time for the 'grafting' to heal/take in the buttocks area? i am afraid to wait until after because I won't be able to lie on my back in order to heal the buttocks fat grafting .

Doctor Answers 6

Tummy tuck prior to spinal fusion

This is a decision that should be made by the surgeons involved with your care. The issue that worries me about your idea is not the tummy tuck part but the fat transfer. Transferred fat has poor blood supply and injecting into an area near the site for a spinal fusion could increase your risk of infection.  If a spinal fusion gets infected  you will have big trouble. I would follow the advice of your surgeons regarding this idea.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Planning a tummy tuck and a spinal fusion

The timing of a tummy tuck as regards a planned spinal fusion is a question that you should be asking of your two surgeons. This decision would also be affected by the approach that is planned for the spinal fusion. Theoretically, if everything else is OK, 8 weeks between a tummy tuck and the spinal fusion may be acceptable. However, if there are any untoward issues, this may not allow adequate time. Then there are other issues such as nutritional status, weight changes, etc.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Timing of surgeries

Not only should you talk with each of your surgeons about timing and recuperation from the two surgeries, they should talk with each other so that they are each aware of what the other has planned. Although if all goes well, you should be fairly well healed two months after a tummy tuck, if there is any problem (and there is always that possibility), the timing may be a bit close. I prefer to have my patients wait at least 3-4 months between major surgeries if at all possible.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Cosmetic surgery before spinal fusion

You must absolutely address this question to both your aesthetic surgeon and your spine surgeon.  If the spine surgeon plans an abdominal incision with retroperitoneal approach to your vertebrae, this dissection may (or may not) be affected by abdominoplasty.  If an alternative approach will be necessary as a result, you should know this in advance, and time the spinal and aesthetic procedures accordingly.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

You are most likely safe for that time frame

Hi there - within that time frame my patients are typically fully healed and completely up to speed with their regular lifestyle.  As long as there are not unexpected setbacks you should be fine.  In my practice I make contact with other surgeons planning procedures just to be absolutely sure everyone is on the same page and that moving forward is a good idea.  Don't forget: choose a board-certified plastic surgeon!

Very best,  Dr. Mosser

Scott W. Mosser, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Timing of Elective Surgery

You would probably have enought time to heal before the March back surgery. However, complications are unpredictable and I would prefer you to get through the medically necessary surgery and have that well healed prior to doing any elective cosmetic surgery.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.