How Many Procedures can you Safely Combine at Once?

For an ever-growing number of plastic surgery patients, undergoing just one procedure at a time is not enough. There are reality shows including “The Swan” and “Extreme Makeover”, where people have several procedures performed on them at the same time. While it is safe to combine a few minor procedures, there is a limit to what can be done to a patient on anaesthesia and a decision must be made as to which procedures can be combined.

Combined Surgery

People who want plastic surgery done want to undergo multiple procedures to so that they can reduce the time that they spend in surgery. They also want to save money on the procedure that they undergo and want to achieve the results they desire by having several procedures performed at the same time. Plastic surgery costs are a combination of the surgeon’s fee, facility fees and the anaesthesia fees. When several procedures are combined, the patient pays just one facility fee and one anaesthesia fee. Some surgeons offer several procedures combined which is a big saving to the patient. Commonly combined procedures include breast augmentation, breast lift, and tummy tuck / neck lift and facelift / forehead and brow lift / face lifts and fat grafting / minimally invasive procedures including Botox and injectable soft tissue fillers.

Every surgery has a certain amount of risk, and where extreme plastic surgery is concerned, the risk is much greater. A big concern is that when multiple procedures are performed in a single operation, it can increase the risk of complications. The longer time spent under anaesthesia presents a greater risk for cardiovascular complications, and also means a longer period of recovery for the patient. While there is no time limit for the amount of time a patient can be under anaesthesia, risks during recovery are increased with durations of more than seven hours.

When two invasive procedures are combined a patient should be kept overnight in the hospital for monitoring. If the patient goes home, they risk complications that can occur after multiple surgeries. Lidocaine used during liposuction will peak in the blood stream many hours after the procedure has been performed. Cardiac side effects do not occur until after a patient has gone home. Dangerous side effects are most likely to occur 10 to 12 hours after a surgery has completed when major procedures are combined.

If you are thinking about having several procedures performed at the same time, you should have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Talk to a surgeon that has experience with the procedures that you are interested in undergoing. If you have an underlying health condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you may need to undergo each procedure in a separate surgery. A complete transformation is rewarding, but you must inform yourself of the risks before you proceed.

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