Ask Dr. Pane: Is It Safe To Do Multiple Procedures At The Same Time?
One question we see a lot at Atlantic Coast Aesthetics involves the relative safety of multiple procedures being done all at once. Many patients want to get their cosmetic surgery needs met as quickly as possible, but are understandably concerned about how having more than one procedure done at the same time may impact their recovery. One example is this question from one of our viewers, who asks, “Is it safe to have Vaser lipo, a tummy tuck and breast augmentation all at once?” Dr. Thomas A. Pane, our Chief Medical Officer and founder, decided to tackle this question because it offers a great opportunity to explain how the decision to do multiple procedures works and what the criteria for it are.
Dr. Pane says the short, simple answer is, “Yes, performing multiple procedures at once is generally safe.” However, the longer, more accurate answer is that this depends upon the patient’s overall health, the amount of work required to achieve the look the patient desires and the limitations imposed by state and local laws in the jurisdiction where the procedure is being done. If the patient is basically in good health, there is usually no reason not to proceed.
Another consideration is the amount of time the procedure takes. Dr. Pane says he can do a breast augmentation and tummy tuck in between three and three and a half hours, assuming the patient is in good health. He also notes that he has an excellent surgical team backing him up and outstanding anesthesia providers, which allow him to work with more confidence and speed, as well as a greater degree of safety for the patient. Generally he prefers to keep a patient’s in-surgery time between five and six hours on the upper end, although Florida state law does permit for longer surgical periods if needed. The reason for this is because the longer a patient is under anesthesia and the more that needs to be done, the more likely it is that the patient may experience complications in the early days after the procedure. The shorter time frame correlates to a greatly reduced incidence of complications and better overall results.
Dr. Pane stresses that the knowledge and skill of the surgeon is also a key determining factor. While some surgeons can do multiple procedures at once with relative ease, some cannot. The experience and training a surgeon brings to the procedure and the skill and ability of the surgical team with whom the surgeon works makes all the difference and can make multiple procedures relatively simple if a certain threshold level is met.
As with any surgical procedure, cosmetic surgery does carry some risks. However, multiple procedures do not necessarily mean the risks increase. This is especially true in situations where the patient’s overall physical condition and level of health indicate that the patient should be able to tolerate any of the individual components of the complex procedure well. While it should never be assumed that a patient is a candidate for certain procedures until and unless they have met with a surgeon for an in-person clinical evaluation, it is far from uncommon for patients to undergo multiple procedures at the same time and recover in about the same time as they would from any individual procedures relatively safely.
Before undergoing any kind of surgery for any reason, it is always a good idea to check out the experience, credentials and testimonials attached to the surgeon and the surgical support team. In addition, diligently complying with all pre- and post-operative instructions issued by the surgeon or the clinical staff can help prevent complications and reduce healing time while maximizing the benefits of the procedure. In this way, you can feel confident that you are in the hands of capable, competent, caring professionals who will do their utmost to provide the results you desire safely and effectively.
If you have a question for Dr. Pane or the staff of ACA about anything related to cosmetic surgery, we are always pleased to discuss your options. For this reason, we invite you to reach out to us through our website at http://acplasticsurg.com, on our Facebook page, through Twitter or by calling us at (561) 442-4116. Your question may end up helping more people than you expected as ACA’s Question of the Week, answered live and in person on an upcoming Google Hangout by Dr. Pane himself. Remember, at ACA we believe the only bad question is the one you don’t ask!