Combining Operations is Not Always a Great Idea….

Let’s say you’re already having surgery, so why not combine it with a cosmetic procedure and save some time and possibly some money?  Today we’re going to talk about when this does, and does not work.

Image courtesy of office.com

Image courtesy of office.com

Many procedures can be combined, and it often makes sense to do so.  Having breast implants done at the same time as an abdominoplasty means going under anesthesia one time, and a single recovery period off work.  Combining a gynecological procedure such as a hysterectomy with an abdominoplasty would seem to make sense as well- the incisions are even in the same place.  But having a hysterectomy at the same time as a tummy tuck is definitely a bad idea.  Undergoing an abdominoplasty carries an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) for several reasons; first, it is a major operation, and patients are not moving around normally in the days after surgery, which increases the risk of blood clots.  Second, tightening the stomach muscles slows the blood draining from the legs because of increased pressure in the abdomen.  The risk of a clot is overall very low, but these clots in your legs can sometimes travel up to your lungs, where they are known as a pulmonary embolism, a condition which can be fatal.  Having a hysterectomy also increases the risk of DVT; not only are patients sedentary after surgery, but some of the large veins in the pelvis that drain the lower half of the body may not be functioning after this type of surgery.  So combining these two procedures results in a higher risk of DVT than either procedure alone.  Trying to save some time and money is just not worth the increased risk of developing a possibly fatal blood clot.

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

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