Combo It! Combining a Tummy Tuck with Other Procedures

A tummy tuck, aka abdominoplasty, is the gold standard for removing loose belly skin, treating visible stretch marks, sculpting resistant midsection fat, and even tightening stretched stomach muscles. All surgeries require some amount of downtime and a tummy tuck is no exception. With this in mind many of our patients make the decision to turn a potential negative into a positive, by combining their tummy tuck surgery with additional procedures. It’s a smart approach because in most cases, it doesn’t make your recovery that much longer and it’s just ONE recovery. If you’re going to have downtime, you might as well optimize that downtime. Here’s what you need to know about combining other procedures with tummy tucks:

Common Add-On Procedures

This list is not complete as almost any cosmetic procedure can be combined with a tummy tuck safely.  The procedures listed here align well with a tummy tuck, primarily because they address other potential problem areas that our tummy tuck patients often present with:

  • Mommy Makeover: One of the most popular combo options is to add on a mommy makeover. This pairs your tummy tuck with multiple procedures that treat post-pregnancy changes to your face, breasts, and body.  Most commonly, it is a breast procedure like a lift, a breast augmentation, a breast lift with augmentation, or even a breast reduction. Fixing both your belly and breasts at the same time can treat most or all of the unwanted changes from pregnancy and nursing.
  • Thigh lift: A thigh lift is commonly needed after weight loss, especially if that weight loss is greater than 50 lbs. More often than not, if you have loose skin on your belly, you probably have some on your thighs as well.  We often combine a tummy tuck with a thigh lift to address the loose and sagging skin in both areas. It’s a powerful combination that doesn’t add much more time to your recovery. 
  • Arm lift:  Aka brachioplasty removes loose and sagging skin and excess fat from your upper arms. It’s often done along with body contouring after weight loss or due to age-related changes.  Many of our patients who are candidates for an arm lift are also candidates for a tummy tuck.  Combining these procedures together will make the first few weeks of recovery harder but it won’t change the overall length of your downtime.
  • Butt lift: A Brazilian butt lift improves the shape and adds fullness to your middle and upper butt.  It is an especially great combination procedure with a tummy tuck that includes 360-degree liposuction.  In these cases, the fat removed from your belly, waist, and lower back is transferred to your butt. It is a great use of the fat that you don’t want!
  • Body lift:  A lower body lift is one of the most transformational procedures we offer but also has the longest recovery.  It pairs well with a tummy tuck and together, they can treat all the post-weight loss and age-related issues on your torso and lower body. 
  • Liposuction: Liposuction is the most common procedure to combine with a tummy tuck. Liposuction removes fat from and sculpts all your other trouble areas like your waist, hips, thighs, and arms. It will add to your discomfort and post-operative swelling but it is worth that cost because it can make your tummy tuck results that much better.

The Combo Procedure Benefits 

Combining your tummy tuck with other procedures is a smart decision.  Here is why:

  • You can achieve more dramatic improvements in your overall body contour than with a tummy tuck alone. A mommy makeover is a classic combo that gives a full-body transformation that is not just limited to your belly.
  • It allows you to have multiple procedures done under one anesthesia.
  • You can have a single recovery period, with not much added discomfort or recovery time.
  • It allows you to reduce costs by having multiple surgeries at one time.

What to Expect with Recovery

Adding on other procedures with a tummy tuck will add to your recovery.  Here is what to expect:

  • Recovery will likely be longer when procedures are combined with a tummy tuck.  In most cases this only adds a week or 2 at the most to your overall recovery time.
  • Combo procedures definitely come with more swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Fortunately, this is temporary and limited to the first 4 to 6 weeks of recovery when compared to a tummy tuck alone.
  • You may need extra help caring for yourself in the first 2 weeks of recovery. This is fairly similar to what you would need for a tummy tuck alone so be sure to review our tummy tuck recovery recommendations.
  • Follow your post-operative instructions closely, including restrictions on activity.  Movement, including walking, is extremely important but it is important to not overdo it, especially if you are recovering from multiple procedures.
  • Be patient through the healing process. Results will be visible once the swelling subsides.  When you undergo multiple procedures on the face, breast, and body in one surgery, swelling can last for weeks to even months.  This is just part of the normal healing process.

Is a Combo Procedure Right for You?

While tummy tucks with combination procedures are incredibly transformative, they do require slightly more recovery and they may increase your immediate post-operative discomfort.  The increased swelling and discomfort are almost always limited to the first 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.  Most importantly, you can get everything out of the way with one anesthesia, one surgery, and ONE recovery. If you are ready to take the leap and combo your tummy tuck, schedule an appointment with our office today to see if you are a candidate.