A wise move or double trouble? When should you combine plastic surgery procedures?

We often get enquiries about having more than one cosmetic procedure done at the same time. Sometimes they are from patients and sometimes from the media asking our opinion on the wisdom of this. We asked our Consultant Plastic Surgeon Nora Nugent for her views on combination or multiple surgeries at once.

“In the right circumstances, having more than one cosmetic procedure done at the same time can be a very reasonable thing to do.” explains Nora. “I often see patients who wish to have more than one area rejuvenated or who are best served by a combination of procedures to achieve the best result for them.”

So what can you combine and when should you stop? Those are the key questions! In Nora’s practice the two main groups of patients that she sees for combination surgeries are facial rejuvenation patients and “mommy make-over” patients.

People who wish to treat facial ageing may opt for a facelift to get a more refreshed and youthful lift to their face. A facelift primarily rejuvenates the lower face, jawline and neck area. A naturally complimentary combination would be to combine facelift surgery with an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) or a brow lift procedure to rejuvenate the eye area as well and maintain facial harmony or a balanced appearance throughout the face. These procedures can be done at the same time and the recovery process will run simultaneously for each. While there may be some extra discomfort and bruising in the early stages with multiple procedures, the overall complete recovery time is similar to each on its own.

Of course when rejuvenating the face, the combination does not always have to be surgical. Some people choose to undergo a treatment programme of medical grade skin care or facial peels in the run up to or after their facelift. The facelift lifts and repositions the ageing tissues of the face while the skin treatments improve the complexion by improving texture and tone of facial skin, uneven pigmentation and fine lines. If not ready to take this big a step, facial peels or skin care can be combined with wrinkle relaxing injections or dermal fillers for more subtle facial rejuvenation. These can all be done in the clinic without the need to spend time in hospital.

“Mommy makeover” is a loose term used to describe a group of procedures aiming to restore a woman’s body to her pre-pregnancy body. Usually it refers to a combination of breast and abdominal surgery e.g. a tummy tuck to tighten up the tummy muscles and loose skin as well as breast augmentation or a breast lift to counteract the effects of pregnancy or breastfeeding on breast volume or position. As long as the patient is well prepared and the recovery period planned carefully, these procedures can be readily combined and completed in one go.

“The key to success with combination surgeries is careful planning and knowing when to draw the line” says Nora. “I look at the individual person in front of me and their well-being and circumstances as well as what would achieve the best outcome for their concerns. If they are well enough to undergo the extent of surgery involved and have help and support for the recovery period in place, then I will often go ahead with more than one surgery at the same sitting. Safety has to come first – if I feel that my patient has not got the physical reserve or the support available afterwards or that the overall operating time would be too long and carry too many risks, then I will recommend separating out the different procedures in to more than one sitting.”

At Purity Bridge we find that “one size does not fit all”! Our Consultant Plastic Surgeons will always look at what best addresses your concerns. They will then tailor your treatment to what is best for your individual circumstances.

Nora at puritybridge

Purity Bridge Team