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How long is it safe to be under general anesthesia for a Breast Aug/Breast Lift along with a Tummy Tuck?

Q:

I recently heard on the news of a person having a Breast Augmentation/Breast Lift, and a Tummy Tuck along with Liposuction of the neck and passing away a few days later.  It has not deterred me from having surgery, but from having them done together.  I do see that people having these procedures done together outweighs the death occurrences that do occur.  I also feel that before I plan on doing this surgery that I will get a full physical.  I do believe that I am healthy enough for surgery but wonder if anything longer than 2-3 hours of anesthesia is too much.

A:

These procedures are commonly performed together. There is no medical reason why they should be done in 2 stages. As long as the procedure is around 5 hours you do not increase the risk of having a complication and you save a second recovery time, and typically save money as well. You want to pick a surgeon comfortable with doing these procedures combined and does them regularly.

R. Rosen, MD

A:

Breast lift/augmentation, tummy tuck and liposuction are frequently done together. However, to be safe the patient should stay overnight in a certified facility because of the length of the surgery and the extent of the surgery. When this is done and other precautions are taken the procedures are as safe as doing them separately. There are, however, many physicians who are not board certified plastic surgeons doing these procedures who do not have access to certified facilities that require certain qualifications of the surgeons that practice there. Make sure your surgeon is qualified and the facility is certified.

R.T. Buchanan, MD

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