Can I Have Spinal Fusion and Tummy Tuck at Same Time?

my fusion operation is being performed from belly button to pelvis and also lower back. I lost 125lbs and have massive loose skin, it seems while its open the proceedure can be closed with the tuck. Am I just kidding myself?

Doctor Answers 12

Advisability of Simultaneus Spinal Fusion and Tummy Tuck

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"Doc, as long as I am under anesthesia can I also have ..."

We have all heard this request multiple times in our professional lives. Some operations COULD be done together and IF everything goes well, you may save money. On the other hand, some operations cannot be safely combined with cosmetic procedures. In my opinion, spinal disc surgery should NOT be combined with Liposuction or Tummy Tuck. The potential risks of spinal surgery are substantial and should not be compounded by those of a Tummy Tuck.

You would do better and have a much better recovery by having your spine surgery done first.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Say "No" to simultaneous spinal fusion and tummy tuck

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A spinal fusion is a big operation with specific recovery issues. So is a tummy tuck. The risks of each may be unsafely magnified by trying to combine them. Ask your spine surgeon and an experienced plastic surgeon for their honest opinion, but I personally would never consider it. Remember that while some things sound convenient, with elective surgery it is never worth increasing the morbidity and mortality risks at all.

Risk of tummy tuck and spinal fusions combined or multiple surgeries

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It would be my advice to focus on the spinal fusion operation at this time. Having lost that much weight, you are more likely to benefit from an extended abdominoplasty or circumferential dermolipectomy procedure. The risks of a combined procedure of that magnitude are significantly greater than if performed separately, in my opinion.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy Tuck at the time of spinal surgery is not a good idea

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Hi there-

I would not recommend a tummy tuck concurrent with back surgery of any kind... Even if the risks of combining the procedures could be made acceptably low (and I do not believe this to be the case), typical recovery from a tummy tuck puts a lot of strain on the back- NOT something you want after back surgery.

Remember- safety first!

Don't combine spinal fusion and tummy tuck

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The question posed is whether a person who is having a spinal fusion should have a tummy tuck at the same time. My advice is to do the two operations separately. Each, in and of it self is a lengthy procedure and together they would be too much time under anesthesia and too much pain.

Most spinal fusions these days involve placement of metal plates and screws and anything else that could increase the chance of infecting this hardware should be avoided. Often times the spinal fusion involves incisions on both the front and back of the torso and they only exception to what I wrote above wold be if the spine surgeon felt the loose skin in front was in their way. Then I might consider something called a panniculectomy-simple removal of the loose skin. This is not a tummy tuck and I would only consider it if it would the spine surgeon complete their task.

Barry Stuart Handler, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Spinal surgery and tummy tuck could be asking for trouble

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I agree with most of the posts here, that the combination of a major cosmetic procedure with a major spinal procedure is a potentially risky undertaking. I'd hate to over-emphasize these worst case scenarios, but we know from research studies that combination of tummy tucks with other procedures, like a C-section, significantly increases the risk of complications compared to a tummy tuck alone.

Perhaps the only situation in which I might consider a combined abdominal procedure is if the spine surgeon requested assistance with the anterior exposure because of the overwhelming size or thickness of the apron/pannus. In this case however, a more appropriate procedure might be a straight panniculectomy, with the option to clean everything up cosmetically at a later date. Needless to say the opinion of your spine surgeon would be of key importance with this sort of strategy.

Best of luck with your journey.

Spinal fusion and tummy tuck should probably not be done together

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The short answer is no, these two procedures should not be done at the same time. If I am to understand your post correctly, it sounds like you are having an anterior fusion done, through an abdominal incision rather than through an incision in the back. So it makes some sense that you would ask if extra belly skin could be removed at the same time through the same incision. While there are some surgeries that can be combined such as gyn surgery and tummy tuck, something that involves working on the bones of your spine with the use of screws or plates should not be combined with any other elective surgery. There are risks enough associated with spinal fusion. Adding another surgery even if through the same incision adds an unacceptable additional risk.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Can I get a tummy tuck with spinal surgery?

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Short answer: NO. Yes, as you put it, you "are kidding yourself." The recovery from spinal surgery is quite significant and performing other elective surgery at the same time is NOT advisable. Heal up and consider your post weight loss body contouring surgery at another date. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Don't combine spinal procedures with tummy tuck surgery

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This combination does not make sense on a number of levels-

Safety- the prolonged anesthetic time and significant risk for DVT and pulmonary embolism make this combo a no-go in my book.

Logistics- For the trunk and abdominal skin excess that you describe, you would require more than a simple TT- a circumferential body lift on a spine patient would be out of the question.

Cost- any cosmetic procedure done in a hospital setting is going to have an excessive facility fee associated with it. Its for this reason that plastic surgeons have largely abandoned hospital-based operating room for more efficient and convenient ambulatory surgery centers. Not sure if your spine surgeon operates out of an ASC, he might, some do.

Spinal surgery and tummy tuck

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I definitely would not advise having these two procedures done at the same time, and I'm sure your spine surgeon would feel the same way. Your energy needs to be focused on recovering from spinal surgery, and additional surgery which requires specific positioning and drains would not be in your best interest. Once you've fully recovered, you can explore abdominoplasty again. Best wishes, /nsn.

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