People turn to plastic surgery for a variety of reasons. Procedures may be done for reconstruction purposes after trauma, to correct a congenital problem, for aesthetics – and the list goes on.
Sometimes, a minor tweak is all that’s required, but often more than one procedure is necessary to produce the desired results. In these cases, there are a number of common combination procedures that can be performed at one time. Many plastic surgeons offer popular combination procedures in packages.
Common Combo Procedures
Facial rejuvenation — This package is a whole face refresher that often includes blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), facelift and brow lift. It’s done to refresh the appearance of the face and erase the signs of aging. “It’s not uncommon to have facial rejuvenation where both the eyes and the face are done at the same time,” says Gregory Borah, MD, Chief of Plastic Surgery at UMDNJ’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.
Mommy Makeover — This common combination procedure is done to reverse the toll childbearing can take on a woman’s body and sometimes to correct body flaws that were even present pre-pregnancy. The Mommy Makeover is typically customized to accommodate the needs of the patient, but may include tummy tuck, liposuction, breast lift or breast augmentation. “Breast lift and tummy tuck are popular procedures for women in their 30s and 40s,” says Dr. Borah.
Chin Augmentation, Rhinoplasty and Cheek Implants — A patient who is unhappy with her facial profile may consider rhinoplasty (nose reshaping surgery), but sometimes simply changing the shape and appearance of the nose doesn’t satisfactorily correct the problem. Those with a weak or receding chin may require a chin and/or cheek implants to achieve the proper facial balance.
Non-Surgical Combos — Non-surgical techniques such as injectable fillers, lasers and chemical peels can also be used together to improve appearance while limiting the amount of surgery required.
The Advantages of Combination Procedures
There are several reasons why plastic surgery procedures may be combined. These include:
- Combining procedures produces the desired results faster with no down time between surgeries.
- Some surgeons believe by performing multiple procedures at one time it’s possible to achieve more natural looking results.
- Reduced recovery time. By combining surgical procedures, patients are faced with only one recovery period, which allows them to return to work and their normal routine faster.
- The cost may be less when multiple procedures are performed at one time. Combining procedures means patients only pay one facility, anesthesia and surgeon’s fee.
The Disadvantages of Combination Procedures
- Increased anesthesia time. “The length of time a patient is under anesthesia correlates with the rate of complications,” says Borah. “Being under anesthesia for 2 to 3 hours doesn’t really impact the complication rate, but beyond that, it does.”
- Older patients may not tolerate longer procedures as well. “A surgeon may ask an older patient to break surgeries down into multiple procedures, instead of having the work done all at once,” says Borah. “This makes it easier for them to recuperate.”
In many cases, it’s possible to combine plastic surgery procedures with no ill effects, but each patient should be carefully evaluated and her own personal needs and health considered. Talk with your plastic surgeon about procedures that can be safely performed together and whether a combined treatment plan is right for you.