Is an 8 hour surgery safe?

I've decided to have a full Tummy tuck,breast lift,breast augmentation with lipo of the flanks. My plastic surgeon seems to be ok with doing all the procedures at once and said it will be an eight hour surgery. Although I want to get everything out of the way I'm now feeling very scared knowing I will be under anesthesia for so long. Wanted to get other opinions on weather or not doing all this procedures at once may or may not be a good idea?

Doctor Answers 13

Combination surgery

This is definitely a lot of surgery.  I would say that the tummy tuck breast lift should be more like 4 to 5 hours.  Adding the implants and liposuction probably does dot increase the time that much.  It is the combination of surgeries and the number of areas that may be more concerning than just the time alone.  If the surgeon thinks it is acceptable based on your health, that is the best indicator.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Mommy Makeover

Mommy makeovers involve various combinations of proceudres to improve the breasts, abdomen, hips, back, arms, legs, buttocks, etc after childbirth.

Combination procedures are safe and very effective in the right hands. The surgeon HAS to be an expert in EACH procedure and must have a lot of experience in performing combination procedures and can minimize the operative time. For example, we work in a team and would take around 4-5 hours for the complete operation. This allows us to get better results with less surgical time and less trauma. Our patients are typically wlking the same day and tapering off of pain medications by 4-5 days. By a week, our internattional patients are generally touring around Cartagena enjoying the sites of this UNSECO World Heritage City. Patients progress to unrestricted activities by 2 months, just as the final results are settling in.

Combination procedures can give powerful results but SAFETY is KEY. You definitely have to choose your surgeon correctly and make sure that he/she has the training and experience to meet your goals with absolute safety. Don’t settle for less than a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with specialized expertise in this procedure.

Alex Campbell, MD
Colombia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Surgical safety for a cosmetic procedure

Thank you for asking about your mommy make-over.

In general, a 6 hour operation is a reasonable limit.
After that, the risks rise - although if you are young and healthy, chances are you will be fine.
But complications including blood clots in your legs become more likely - and these are serious.

  • If the surgery is going to take a long time because you are overweight, it might be better to split the procedures.

  • What about discussing with your surgeon your priorities - e.g. do the tummy tuck first, then the lift.
  • If there is time, do the implant and if not - place it later.

  • Or ask your surgeon if having a technical assistant will help shorten the surgery.
  • With a good assistant helping with skin suturing, time can be significantly reduced.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Is an Eight Hour Surgery Safe?

Very good question.

This question can only be properly addressed and answered during a consultation with your Board Certified plastic surgeon.  Each case must be considered individually as a patients general health, the combination of procedures under consideration, anesthesia, and facility all have bearing on this decision.

I personally feel that risks for complication in body contouring surgery rise significantly after 5 hours of surgery.  I would strongly consider staging your proposed 8 hours of surgery into two separate surgical sessions.

I would recommend that you contact your surgeon to discuss your concerns.  I am quite certain that he/she will be happy to review the plan and make any modifications needed to ensure that your safety is a priority.

Best of luck!

Scott D. Holley, MD, FACS
Portage Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Mommy makeover and liposuction

Our office specializes in mommy makeover procedures. Long surgeries have their advantages and disadvantages. Your health is the primary determinant of how safe it is. Speak to your surgeon about possibly breaking the mommy makeover up into different surgeries.


Dr. Karamanoukian
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Is an 8 hour surgery safe?

Well,  what to say? Any surgery that exceeds 6 hours increases the risk of complications. I never do surgeries that take more than six hours, if the case requires many procedures I recommend to do in two times, safety is a priority in my work. Good luck lady.

                                                                        Dr. Marte.

Manuel Marte, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Is an 8 hour surgery safe?

I hold these combination surgeries to under 6 hours.  I would search for the board certified plastic surgeon who you feel is most likely to give you the best results and who performs hundreds of these procedures each year. I would look at patient reviews as well as before and after photos on that surgeon's website.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Is a Mommy Makeover Procedure Safe

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.    

#Combining these procedures decreases anesthetics, costs, and recovery time.  Most importantly, your procedures should be performed by a #PlasticSurgeon who is board-certified and has a great deal of experience specializing in cosmetic #surgery. You will then greatly improve your chances of getting the result you desire, and, without the need for a revision surgery. It is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision. 
All surgical procedures carry some degree of #risk. Always discuss your issues and concerns with the Plastic Surgeon during and following your consultation. Information that you read online may not apply to your personal situation.
It is imperative you select a plastic surgeon who is #board-certified and has a great deal of experience with the procedures included with a Mommy Makeover. . Aside from checking board-certification, it is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Not for elective aesthetic procedures

There is plenty of studies that show complications increase after 6 hours of surgery. Some procedures when medically necessary can take longer but the patient needed them to improve their health. For aesthetic procedures it is not worth the additional risks from a long procedure.

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Surgery length and safety

I personally do not like surgeries that take more than about 5 hours. But if your surgeon is comfortable with 8 hours of surgery and is board certified and is operating in an accredited facility with excellent anesthesia help, it could be safe. The liposuction would be the biggest issue if you were my patient. There is a big difference between some touch up lipo of the flanks with a tummy tuck and 4 liters of liposuction. Splitting surgeries up is always a safe decision in my opinion. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 84 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.