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A common question many patients have is whether they can combine plastic surgery procedures. The short answer is yes. Many different cosmetic procedures can be done in a single session, and patients often opt for this route to save time and money.

However, there are some limitations when it comes to combining surgical procedures, and some unique risks you need to keep in mind. From patient health to the specific type of surgery, a variety of factors come into play when deciding on a treatment plan.

A consultation with a plastic surgeon can help you determine whether combined surgeries would achieve your aesthetic goals.

Why Combine Plastic Surgery Procedures?

The two main reasons to undergo multiple procedures at once is to save time and money.

With combined procedures, the cost savings are potentially significant. You are only paying for a single anesthesia, consultation, hospital bed, and so on. Cosmetic surgery is not usually covered by insurance, so cutting costs is a major advantage for many patients.

There is also substantial time savings. The time between consultation and recovery can be lengthy, so getting one procedure done at a time can take months or sometimes years. Combining procedures means a single surgery followed by a single recovery period.

Which Plastic Surgery Procedures Can I Combine?

Combining procedures is done at the discretion of your practitioner and surgeon. Your individual goals and current health come into play, as do the specific requirements of the operations in question.

You may sometimes hear terms like “Mommy Makeover” which is an umbrella term for multiple procedures often performed in a single surgery. Common procedures included in a mommy makeover are tummy tucks and breast lifts, for instance.

Commonly combined surgeries include:

  • A tummy tuck and liposuction
  • A tummy tuck and breast augmentation
  • A facelift and a brow lift
  • A facelift and a neck lift
  • Chin augmentation and rhinoplasty

The above list is just a small sampling, however. There is no definitive list of which procedures can and cannot be combined, however, there are some combinations that can increase risk of complications and should be avoided.

Patients can also opt to combine surgical procedures with non-invasive techniques. For example, you could combine eyelid surgery with dermal fillers.

Are There Any Procedures That Cannot Be Combined?

Combined procedures require patients be anesthetized for longer periods, which can increase your risk for certain complications. For this reason, most surgeons will not combine procedures if surgery will take more than six hours.

Light amounts of physical activity – such as walking for brief periods – are important after undergoing surgery. This helps avoid potentially serious complications like blood clots. Some procedures can severely limit mobility when combined, so your surgeon may advise against them. 

Are There Risks Associated With Combining Procedures?

All surgeries come with risks, which is why undergoing a full medical exam beforehand is always important. This will help ensure you are in good health and at a relatively low risk for complications.

The biggest risk with combining surgeries is that of either performing surgeries that are too lengthy or too difficult for one’s body to manage or recover from. This is why often larger makeover plans are divided into two or more surgeries.

When combining procedures, risks are contingent on the specific operations you are undergoing. Talk with your surgeon carefully ahead of time so you know which symptoms to watch out for and when to seek medical help. Bleeding, infection, discoloration, and scarring are some common complications associated with a variety of cosmetic surgeries.

How Long Is Recovery With Combined Procedures?

It is hard to place a ballpark estimate on recovery time with combined procedures as there are so many different potential combinations. In general, most patients are recovered enough from any combination of surgeries for about six weeks to return to normal actives. However, how unpleasant those six weeks of recovery are is highly dependent on how much surgery is done at  once. It may be worth having two easier recoveries versus one more difficult recovery.  

Talk to your practitioner about the specifics of your recovery, including aftercare instructions. Following guidelines closely is the best means to avoid complications and ensure desirable results.

The Bottom Line

It is possible to combine multiple surgical procedures and doing so can save you substantial time and money. However, there are limitations on which surgeries can be performed in a single session. The best way to find the right treatment path for you is to book a consultation with a professional.

Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Get in touch with his team today to schedule a consultation.

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