Thigh Lift, Arm Lift, Abdominoplasty Done Together Concerns and Recovery?

I am having a thigh and arm lift, & abdominoplasty (including hernia repair) done together in 3 weeks, some lipo'ing will be done in all 3 areas. I have lost 150 lbs through diet & exercise over 4 yrs. I am pretty fit, a tri-athlete and just finished my first half. What should I do to pre & post op, including diet, exercise, supplements? I have big races this summer, will I be able to train after 5-6 weeks? Be honest, my biggest races are 3 months post op, I need realistic expectations. Stressed

Doctor Answers 6

Thigh Lift, Arm Lift, Abdominoplasty Done Together Concerns and Recovery?

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        That is a lot of surgery at one time.  The body will have a lot of healing to do, and the best thing to do after surgery is to focus on allowing your body to heal.  Training in 5 to 6 weeks is probably not realistic.


Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Combo procedure plan

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Although multiple procedures can be safely performed in one setting with proper patient selection, your treatment plan involves a lot of surgery in just one setting.   If you opt to proceed with the stated plan, I think you need to prepare to have a longer recovery than what you expect.  It is very unlikely you will be ready to "train" just 5 weeks after all those procedures.  Perhaps you should explore breaking the procedure down to small procedures and having them done in stages.  It may be safer and more comfortable for your recovery to, as they say, come back and "fight another day."   Should you opt for such  a lengthy procedure, I would suggest you have the procedure done by a board certified plastic surgeon only in a hospital setting where you can stay overnight (at least one night) to facilitate your recovery and have that extra level of postoperative care/monitoring.   Best wishes.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Thigh/Arm Lift and Tummy Tuck

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Personally I would consider this to be to much surgery in one sitting. I would much rather break it up into two sessions. In Florida we are only allowed to remove 1 liter of fat when performing liposuction in conjunction with another procedure. Most of the catastrophic complication have occured during lengthy surgeries. This is elective cosmetic surgery, not life saving cancer or trauma surgery, and risk should be the absolute minimal. Even the most effective surgeon, would take 7-8 hours to perform this surgery and your recovery would be extensive. 

Lots of surgery, many areas...

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Thanks for your post and concerns. These three areas - arms, thighs, and tummy all at once will likely lead to a longer recovery than typical. I have done this combination, but only on ideal patients and with 72 hour stay at the hospital. Ask your surgeon about how best to prepare and whether an overnight stay facility is available. Best wishes, Dr. Aldo.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 215 reviews

Thigh Lift, Arm Lift, Abdominoplasty Done Together Concerns and Recovery?

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That sounds like alot of surgery for one sitting. I would be concerned about doing your legs and arms at the same time because all 4 of your limbs would be recovering, swollen and painful. That's a tough recovery! As a rough guide, I would limit your anesthesia/surgery between 6-8 hours in one sitting and separate your arms and legs into 2 different stages.

Also, ask your surgeon this question. How many hours can you perform surgery and not get tired? Think about it, these are long, mentally and physically exhausting procedures. Do you want a tired surgeon at the end of it?

I do think 6 weeks is a reasonable time to recover to full activity (void of complications, etc). 

Many massive weight loss patients do have nutritional and mineral deficiencies. You should have had a comprehensive panel of labs done prior to surgery. If there are deficiencies, these can be addressed before the surgery to maximize your success.

Hope this helps

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Thigh Lift, Arm Lift, Abdominoplasty Done Together Concerns and Recovery?

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It's more that I would recommend for one sitting--not necessarily because it is too much to do, but because of recovery. 

Often patients after lower body lift variants such as you will have really need their arms to move out of bed, out of a chair, off a commode, and so forth, and having an arm lift may make that impossible. It is nice to get as much done in one setting as possible, but I don't think this particular combination is worth it. 

Three months is a maybe if all goes well. You probably won';t be able to train seriously until two months after surgery.

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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