Performing combined procedures is very common. If two or more surgeries can be safely combined, there will be the benefit of less-recovery time, less cost, and less risk compared to having the surgeries performed on different days.
Some risk of surgery is reduced by combining surgery. Anesthesia risk can be compared to the risk of air flight. Most of the risk is in the beginning and in the ending. Therefore, if two surgeries can be combined there will be almost half the risk of two separate surgeries.
Some risk of surgery is not reduced by combining surgery. For example, if two different surgeries have a 1% risk of infection, the additive risk is 2% regardless if the surgeries are performed together or on separate days.
Sometimes a risk may be synergized by combining two surgeries. For example, Liposuction of the thighs requires application of a compression garment, which, causes venous congestion in the legs and can cause deep venous thrombosis (DVT)- blood clots in the veins of the legs. An Abdominoplasty results in more bed rest than other surgeries and has a risk of DVT. The combination of these two surgeries will cause a synergistic risk of DVT, and therefore it would be safer to perform these surgeries on different days.
Dr. Andersen will not perform combinations of surgery which would be expected to result in enough blood loss to require a transfusion.
Common combined procedures include Blepharoplasty with Face Lift, Breast Augmentation with Breast Lift, and Liposuction in an area adjacent to a skin reduction procedure. Breast implant surgery is commonly performed at the same time as an Abdominoplasty.
Recovery time is usually not increased by combining procedures. Abdominoplasty requires restrictions in activity for 4 weeks. If a Breast Augmentation surgery is added to the Abdominoplasty the recovery time is still 4 weeks. Therefore, the recovery time of combined procedures is the recovery time of the most major procedure and is not increased by more minor procedures.
There are significant cost savings when combining surgery. Dr. Andersen discounts the professional fee for secondary procedures. There is less operating time and one recovery room fee. The operating room supply fee is reduced for secondary procedures. For all these reasons there is cost savings when combining procedures.