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Plastic surgery patients frequently ask if it is possible to get more than one procedure at the same time. Although not stated directly, patients are essentially asking if it is safe to get more than one procedure at the same time. In general, the answer is yes, a patient can get more than one procedure at the same time. However, the planning to perform more than one procedure at the same time is not as simple as signing a permit and scheduling the procedure. Planning surgery does not follow a specific formula, because all patients present with unique situations that require customized planning.

The term “Mommy Makeover” implies multiple procedures that may or may not be performed at the same time. When planning multiple procedures at the same time many factors are taken into consideration. When possible, there can be some advantages to performing multiple procedures simultaneously. The most obvious advantage is a single recovery period. This will minimize time out of work and other activities. Another common question relates to the “downtime” for a single procedure versus “downtime” for multiple procedures. The experience of the plastic surgeons has shown that when multiple procedures are performed at the same time, the recovery time is not necessarily additive. In other words, getting two procedures at the same time does not mean the recovery time is twice as long. So, when considering the length of “downtime,” in general, the number of procedures at the same time is not a precluding factor. As a practical example, a breast augmentation (breast implants) and an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) done at the same time, in many cases, may have about the same recovery time as a breast augmentation (breast implants) alone.

There can be disadvantages to getting more than one procedure the same time. There can be increased risks, however small, when performing multiple procedures at the same time. For example, when performing multiple large procedures at the same time, potential blood loss is considered. One goal in performing elective plastic surgery is to avoid transfusions whenever possible. In general, blood transfusions are safe, but there is always a chance, however small, of having a complication with a blood transfusion. In some circumstances, multiple procedures can be “staged” (done at different times) in order to avoid a blood transfusion.

There are many factors that are considered when estimating potential blood loss for multiple procedures, such as the pre-operative status of the patient’s blood levels. If the patient is anemic (low blood levels) or her/his hemoglobin is in the low range of normal, then this is taken into consideration when planning the procedures. Significant anemia (low blood levels) may result in delay of surgery (for larger procedures) until that problem is diagnosed and treated.

Another consideration is how one particular procedure can affect another procedure. In some circumstances, multiple procedures will not affect the other, and in other circumstances, multiple procedures could affect the other. For example, performing liposuction in critical areas (that may affect the blood supply) can result in wound healing problems.

There are considerations related to anesthesia when multiple procedures at the same time are planned. The considerations related to anesthesia again revolve around recognition, prevention, and avoidance of potential complications. Anesthesia planning has many facets, and as with most issues in medicine, does not follow a prescribed set of rules. One issue related to anesthesia is total operative time. In some circumstances it may be better to “stage” (perform procedures at different times). When planning plastic surgery procedures, the planning is done as a team, which includes board-certified anesthesia professionals.

In summary, multiple procedures can be performed at the same time in most patients. During the in-person consultation, when a Mommy Makeover is requested, the specific circumstances for each patient are evaluated and discussed.

To make an appointment for a free Mommy Makeover consultation, call Herring Plastic Surgery at 910.486.9093.