Which of the Following Surgeries Stresses the Body Most?

Breast reduction, vs. facelift, vs. armlift. All the same in terms of stress on the body or are some more stressful than others? Assume similar laxity, excess skin, tone, etc. in each area. Or is this an impossible question?

Doctor Answers 9

Face Lift

A nearly impossible question, but they will all take about 2 weeks to recover, with the facelift possibly a bit longer if eyes, face, neck, and brow are also done.

Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Facelift - Which of the Following Surgeries Stresses the Body Most?

Can't really answer that...it depends on what you mean by stress?  Operating time?  Blood loss?  Post-operative pain?  Greatest impact on your daily life during the recovery period?  I would probably answer those as Breast Reduction, Breast Reduction, Arms, Facelift...in the sense that you may not be able to be in public for a week or ten days.  But - honestly - this is a purely hypothetical discussion, better left to the sages...

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Surgery and stress on body

Out of the three, I would say the breast reduction but I would also say the one that will cause most anesthesia time in the operating room. 

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Which of the Following Surgeries Stresses the Body Most?

I guess I'm the only responder who agrees with your statement, "impossible question". There are some many differing factors to equate stress to each operation that only discussions with you can help determine which of the 3 options would cause you more stress. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Stressed out

the "stress" to the body comes from the "fluid shifts" that occur secondary to tissue trauma. so larger surface area operations like abdominolasty and liposuction tend to be more physiologically stressful.  other factors to consider are time under anesthesia, type of anesthesia, whether a body cavity has been entered, specific issues related to the pt (smoker v. non-smoker, eg.). in short there are some generalities that can be made but an individualized plan designed by your surgeon should address all these issues to ensure safety.

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast reduction, facelift, arm lift

All of these procedures are very different. You really can not compare the recovery and stress on your body. You must figure out what body part is more important to you

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast Reduction, Facelift, and Arm Lift and relative stress to the body

Although any surgical procedure can cause stress to the body both physically and/or emotionally, most plastic surgical procedures can be performed with relatively little blood loss,  do not require the use of paralytic agents, and can be performed on an outpatient basis (no overnight hospital stay).  With any of these procedures the relative stress is proportionate to the size of the incision and operative area and the length of time the procedure will take.  However, in general all of these procedures are considered to cause relatively little stress in the otherwise healthy patient.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews


The bigger and longer the surgery the more stress but plastic cosmetic procedures are designed for minimal stress.    The cosmetic procedures do not invade body cavities.  Facelift causes more mental healing stress.  Large liposuction causes more physiological stress.   A surgery inside the body....abdomen, chest, brain...causes far more than any plastic surgery.  Well done plastic surgery causes little stress.  Poorly done plastic surgery causes huge stress.

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Hard to answer

Face lift, arm lift and breast lift would be the order from least to most involved procedure. You need to have personal examination and evaluation to find to best combination for you.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 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.