A ^Retired Plastic Surgeon's Notebook

Can these procedures be combined?

Seattle Plastic Surgeon answers another FAQ.blog-faq

It is common to combine surgical procedures and often makes a lot of sense to do so.  Combining procedures saves a trip to the operating room, saves some money and consolidates recovery time.  Procedures often done in combination include breast lift with a tummy tuck and face lift with blepharoplasty.

There are some procedures, however, that I will not combine.  Here is an example:  Posterior hip liposuction and facial surgery.  Why?  Liposuction involves some heavy physical labor.  I work up a sweat with most major liposuction cases.  That heavy large muscle effort leaves me with a fine tremor for about an hour or so and I don’t want to do fine facial surgery with a fine tremor.  So can’t I do the facial surgery first?  No that won’t work either.  The posterior hip liposuction requires the patient to be face down on the OR table.  Positioning a patient who has just had facial surgery face down is NOT a good idea.  Another example:  Brachioplasty (upper arm lift) and tummy tuck is not a good combination.  A tummy tuck really leaves the patient without core strength for several weeks so the patient is very reliant on the arms to move around in bed or get up from lying or sitting down.  Arms that are fresh from a brachioplasty are very sore and should not engage in heavy work.

So, when patients are looking at more than one procedure, sometimes it makes sense to combine them but sometimes it doesn’t.  Oh, and one other factor is surgeon fatigue.  Yes, even badass surgeons like me get tired.  More about that in another blog post.

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


Category: My Plastic Surgery Philosophy, Plastic Surgery | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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