Tummy Tuck, Breast Aug, and Brazilian Butt Lift Same Day in Brazil. Flight Home??

Hello! I will be getting surgery in Brazil next month. i have researched the doctor well and also have references to this doctor (from people who have already done what I plan to do). I will be getting a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, and brazilian butt lift. Firstly, I want to know what type of implant I need ( I am a 36C but i need some lifting, more firmness, and also inverted nipple corrected). Secondly, Will I be able to get a full tummy tuck? lastly, How will I rest/sleep? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 12

Multiple operations overseas is Russian Roulette with your life!

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Sure, there are great surgeons in every major country, but there is no shortage of great  plastic surgeons in San Francisco either. I know it sounds exotic and exciting to have surgery in a spa/vacation setting and then return home with a total body makeover! You can't really be saving that much money (maybe even spending more!) once you factor in the air flight, motel, taxi, and meals, not to mention the cost of a companion to care for you (or were you going to leave that to the locals?), or the out-of-country expense for care of any complication. Just how long were you planning to stay in Brazil? Until your breasts have completely settled, and your abdominal lymphedema has resolved? Or were you hoping to get your required follow-up care here in the US from someone who you didn't pay?

And if you have a blood clot or a heart attack (unlikely, but can you say "No Guarantees"?) will you plan on ICU care, angiography, bypass surgery, or anticoagulant therapy in Brazil as well?

I know this sounds like scare tactics, but every plastic surgeon worth his or her training is not only aware of but extremely conscious about these and countless other concerns that are unlikely but always lurking as a possibility. That is also why those of us with proper training, ABPS-board certification, and experience decry our MD colleagues of other specialties who believe they too can become "cosmetic surgeons" after a weekend course or a few months working with another doctor who isn't a REAL plastic surgeon.

Why must you be on-line asking us questions your surgeon should have talked to you about in detail? What kind of consultation are you planning, and do both you and your surgeon have the option to "back out" of any tentatively-scheduled surgery if you or he are not absolutely ready and totally willing to proceed? Photos are one thing, but in-person examination is essential for any plastic surgeon to make accurate and meaningful recommendations to any prospective patient. You certainly must have read that here on RealSelf many, many times!

Sure you have references--do you think those with complications or who died gave you their names? And if you pull a trigger playing Russian Roulette and don't get shot, does that make it "safe" to try again? Just because you have one or more friends who had an uncomplicated experience with this scenario, do you really take this as any sort of comfort that something won't happen to you?

It sounds as if you already have your mind made up, but all of us here have the same concern, and have written our responses in different ways to try to convince you of the folly of this course of action. Please rethink this, and at least seek consultation with one or more ABPS-certified plastic surgeons in your area. Already did? Then try again with others! Truly, I wish you well and hope no harm comes to you overseas!

Plastic Surgery Abroad...Buyer Beware

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I appreciate the opportunity to view your thoughts and am respectful of the preliminary research you have done.  But bargain hunting for surgery overseas can be extremely dangerous.  While I appreciate your trying to get the best work done that your budget allows, it would be unethical for me to not warn you that, although your surgeon might be skilled, in many countries the standards of care and technological quality control can be much less stringent than in the United States.  

Over 60% of my practice is comprised of complex redo surgeries.  Many of the original surgeries were performed overseas.  People don’t realize how little recourse they have when going overseas for surgeries – even just in terms of normal procedural post-op follow ups, not to mention what happens should a complication arise.  There is tremendous cost (time, agggrevation, and money) that is required to correct a surgery, including the inconvenience of flying back to the foreign country in which the operation was performed.

Were you my patient, I would never schedule these three surgeries in the same day, even if you lived on the same block in New York City as my surgical facility.  A breast augmentation with possible lift, in addition to a well-performed tummy tuck with corset plication, is a sizable undertaking alone.  Any experienced surgeon would take a substantial amount of hours to meticulously perform these surgeries with the patient under full anesthesia.  The recovery for these two procedures allows you to recoup on your back and sleep.  Adding a Brazilian butt lift will produce substantial discomfort in the gluteal area, and it is not advised that you recover from this while lying on your back.  Therefore it is my opinion that these procedures should be done at two second times:  the butt lift on its own, and the breast augmentation and the tummy tuck together.

I encourage you to be very careful about your recovery.  No matter how experienced the surgeon might be, a properly performed tummy tuck is highly prone to seroma formation because there is shearing of the underside of the skin and the layer of muscles below.  After 28 years of experience with this operation, I always insert not one but two small drains to remove any unwanted fluid collection.  The reason for two drains emphasizes the importance of a single drain – meaning, if one clogs and fails to funtion, you always have the insurance of a second drain.

Getting on an airplane (hopefully with drains in place) the same day that you’ve had all three procedures, when you will be in substantial discomfort from three separate surgical sites, is strongly not advised.  It is likely that my responding colleagues will have the same opinion, and will urge you not to proceed as planned because it is not in your best interest.  Plastic surgery is serious.  Undergoing cosmetic plastic surgery in foreign countries is potentially very dangerous.

That's just plain dumb.

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you appear young and healthy and I don't doubt the quality of your surgeon, post op care or future results. but, and this is a big but, no pun intended, you cannot do that amount of surgery and travel without increasing your risk of serious complications. I mean serious life threatening complications. If your surgeon thinks it is ok then he is a not aware of the risk or worse not interested enough in you to do the right thing. go, do the surgery, but stay at least 1, preferably 2 weeks to get through it safely. for the other questions, you should know the answer by the time you have scheduled, if not then take the time to get your answers before flying down.

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

Medical tourism

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First, I would caution about traveling very far to have surgery. Who is going to perform your follow-up care?  What if you have a complication?  As for the size of the implants, it is difficult to suggest an implant for you without an exam.

Safety of Medical Tourism - Tummy Tuck, Breast Aug, and Brazilian Butt Lift Same Day in Brazil

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RE : "  I will be getting surgery in Brazil next month. i have researched the doctor well and also have references to this doctor (from people who have already done what I plan to do). I will be getting a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, and Brazilian butt lift. Firstly, I want to know what type of implant I need ( I am a 36C but i need some lifting, more firmness, and also inverted nipple corrected). Secondly, Will I be able to get a full tummy tuck? lastly, How will I rest/sleep? Thanks!"

Every country has great Plastic surgeons, a lot of average surgeons and some really sub-standard surgeons. With a lot of qualified surgeons in most civilized countries there are few reasons to travel for surgery except potentially to save on the cost of surgery. It does not take long to realize just how many people love gambling. Stand in the lobby of any of the large Las Vegas hotels and carefully watch you fellow human beings throwing their money away for the emotional rush an improbable win will give them. When it comes to surgery, if everything goes well - you will save some money. But - if you develop a complication, who is responsible for correcting it? How much more in hotel and other fees, to say nothing in doctor and hospital fee, will that cost you? Will your surgeon even be willing to care for it?

From your questions, it does not seem like you interacted much with your surgeon. what type of implant I need ? - the breast implant used would depend on his preference and your desired breast shape but should ideally be an implant whose diameter can be covered by your present breast dimensions to cover any of the implant's folds and ripples.Unless your breasts are examined and measured, no ethical surgeon could give you a narrow range of several implants which may fit your demands. Will I be able to get a full tummy tuck? - from the pictures submitted you look like you may benefit from a Full Tummy Tuck. The procedure would remove much of the stretch mark damaged skin and fully flatten your tummy. How will I rest/sleep? I prefer not to do Fat Transfer to the Buttocks (Brazilian Butt Lift) for this very reason. Not only will both the tummy and buttocks be sore but it is hard to sleep on the areas if both were operated upon. You really need to discuss it with YOUR surgeon.

Good Luck.

Dr. Peter A Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Multiple procedures done in another country

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Having surgery outside of the US can be done, however, should you have a complication, you will not be able to see your surgeon. I just returned from a plastic surgery conference in Colombia and realize there is a lot of plastic surgery performed in South America. However if you live in the San Francisco area, that is quite a distance to go and the follow up will not be as close as if you had your procedure done in the US.

I would also take into consideration the time you will be staying there to recover, because if you fly to soon after surgery, you will be at a higher risk for developing a blood clot (DVT) in your legs. Also, you may want to consider having one of your procedures performed at a later stage since the duration of anesthesia needed to do all that you listed can also increase your chances for developing a blood clot.

Best wishes,


Medical tourism

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I do not think there is anything wrong with your going to Brazil to have your surgery as long as you use the same due diligence you would use in choosing a surgeon at your home city. I have been to Brazil many times and did some of my training there so I know they have top rated surgeons there in multiple fields of surgery.

Your posted photos show a lot of stretch marks below the belly button level but not much excess abdominal skin or fat, some love handles fat deposits and breasts with stretchmarks but little or no drooping. I do not see any inverted nipple in the photos.

The Brazilian culture aesthetic norm is different than the average American one. Similarly what would be considered a good result in Los Angeles might not be considered so in a small town in the midwestern US. You surgeon needs to made aware of what result you are looking for prior to performing any surgery no matter what country or city that surgery is performed in. Brazilian surgeons used implants that are approved by their government agencies. US surgeons can only use FDA approved breast implants. The recommendation of which implant to use is best made by the surgeon in the country where the implant is to be placed because the implants are not directly equivalent.

The buttock issue would appear to be a straight forward liposuction from the love handles and fat injection to the buttocks but I do not think you have sufficient excess abdominal skin to allow a standard abdominoplasty. You may be a candidate for a modified abdominoplasty but that cannot be concluded without a face to face examination. No matter what type of abdominoplasty is performed, if any, I do not think you have sufficient excess skin to allow removal of all of the abdominal stretchmarks.

Not knowing any of your medical history it is impossible for me to know if you need medical clearance before surgery. For some individuals that can be difficult or inadequate in a foreign venue.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Its a dangerous Game

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While I am aware that you probably researched this before making a desision (I hope) You're putting yourself at risk performing so many prosedures all at once without consulting your regular doctor. BE Aware of bargain hunting out of sea, the processed might not be regulated and it sounds like the risk is too much. Be careful.

Out of the United States Surgery

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Getting surgery out of the USA is an absurd idea.  In the San Francisco Bay Area there are many many fine surgeons capable of doing these operations as well as they can be done any where in the world.   Where are you going to go when complications arise.? Are you then going to go to a Bay Area surgeon for post op care and repair. Most USA surgeons follow and care for their patients for a full year.  Are you going to then fly back and forth to Brazil?   You are considering big operations.  Little problems always come up after surgery and need care.  Patients need suport from their surgeon.   Choos a local surgeon.  Be smart.  This whole idea of going far away is just really really dumb.  Thats all I can say. Wise up.  You are on a potential problematic course.  Local surgeons have minimal enthusiasm for caring for problems generated by out of country surgery.  There are many , believe me.   Choose a surgeon in your city.  There are many many surgeons wih the world's best training from Stanford and UCSF.   Again, wise up!  Dr George Commons

Plastic surgery tourism

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The opinion of the most of the U.S Board certified plastic surgeons is not positive because of the complications that we see from plastic surgery tourism. You can get great results in other countries. There are very good plastic surgeons all over the world. The main concerns are the situations that you may get complications during the surgery or after. If you have infection,capsular contracture or bad results, what would be you options. The level of medical care is the highest in U.S and we have best trained plastic surgeons here. Regarding the surgical options you can have mini tuck with belly button floating. You will also need a lift and I suggest fat grafting for the upper pole of your breast. It will be hard to do all of your surgeries at one setting( safer to limit to surgery time to less than 6 hours). I would recommend that you get consultations before you make the final decision.

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.