What You Should Know about Combining Abdominoplasty with Other Procedures

In some cases, patients might consider not just a single procedure but a combination of surgeries. Among these, abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure for those looking to get rid of excess skin from their mid and lower section. Some individuals are now exploring the possibility of combining abdominoplasty with other procedures to alter their overall body contour and achieve balance. This approach, while offering some benefits, also comes with its own set of considerations and risks that potential candidates must be aware of.

The decision to undergo cosmetic surgery comes with many questions and uncertainties. When considering combining abdominoplasty with other procedures, the complexity increases, making it essential for individuals to arm themselves with knowledge. Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Jake Lim aims to discuss the details of undergoing multiple cosmetic procedures simultaneously, focusing on combining abdominoplasty with other surgeries.

Download Dr Lim’s Free 2024 Abdominoplasty Guide

Abdominoplasty Guide

What Is Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure to create a firmer, smoother abdominal profile. This procedure is considered by individuals who, despite maintaining a healthy lifestyle, struggle with excess skin and fat in the abdominal area that does not improve with diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty is also an option for those who have undergone significant weight loss or pregnancy and are left with stretched skin and weakened abdominal muscles.

The procedure begins with a consultation, where Dr Jake Lim evaluates the patient’s health, discusses the aesthetic goals, and outlines the expected outcomes. During the surgery, a horizontal incision is made between the pubic hairline and the belly button, through which Dr Lim can remove excess fat, excise loose skin, and suture the abdominal muscles if necessary. The complexity and length of the surgery vary depending on the extent of correction needed and whether additional procedures are being performed simultaneously.

Recovery from abdominoplasty requires patience and careful adherence to post-operative care instructions. Initial recovery involves rest, avoiding strenuous activities, and wearing a compression garment to support the healing process. Swelling, discomfort, and bruising are common but gradually subside over the following weeks. Most patients can return to work and light activities within a few weeks, although full recovery and the final results may take several months to manifest.

The outcomes of abdominoplasty can be significant; however, it’s crucial for candidates to have realistic expectations and understand that a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Maintaining a stable weight and healthy lifestyle is essential for preserving the results of the surgery in the long term.

Common Procedures Combined with Abdominoplasty

Combining abdominoplasty with other cosmetic procedures is a complex approach that allows for a more significant alteration, addressing multiple areas in a single surgical session. Here are the procedures most commonly paired with a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty, including liposuction, breast lift (mastopexy), breast augmentation, breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty), and thighplasty:


Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery technique used to remove stubborn fat deposits from various parts of the body, including the abdomen, hips, thighs, and arms. This procedure is particularly effective for contouring areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. During liposuction, small incisions are made in the targeted area, and a thin tube called a cannula is inserted to loosen and suction out fat.

Combining liposuction with abdominoplasty allows for enhanced body contouring. While a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty addresses excess skin and tightens the abdominal muscles, liposuction removes localised fat deposits, refining the overall shape and contour of the body. This combination is recommended for individuals looking to achieve a more defined abdominal profile and a smoother transition between the abdomen and surrounding areas.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a procedure designed to raise and firm the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. This surgery is sought after by women experiencing breast sagging due to ageing, weight fluctuations, or pregnancy and breastfeeding, aiming to restore a more uplifted breast profile.

A breast lift – mastopexy combined with a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty is a suite of procedures tailored to address the physical changes many women experience post-pregnancy. This combination works synergistically to rejuvenate the midsection and the breasts. By lifting and reshaping the breasts while simultaneously tightening the abdomen, patients can achieve a more proportionate contour.

Download Dr Lim’s Free 2024 Breast Lift Surgery Guide (Mastopexy)

Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Guide

Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammoplasty)

Breast augmentation involves using implants or fat transfer to increase the size and improve the shape of the breasts. This procedure is considered among women who wish to increase their breast volume, achieve better symmetry, or restore breast fullness lost due to weight changes or pregnancy.

When combined with abdominoplasty, breast augmentation addresses both the upper and lower body, creating a balanced shape. This combination can alter a woman’s contour by adding volume and shape to the breasts while flattening and toning the abdomen.

Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty)

Breast reduction surgery is aimed at removing excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with the body and alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts. This procedure may improve physical symptoms such as back and neck pain, skin irritation, and difficulty engaging in physical activities.

Combining breast reduction with abdominoplasty is beneficial for patients seeking relief from the physical and aesthetic concerns caused by large, heavy breasts and excess abdominal skin and fat. This combination can alleviate physical discomfort associated with overly large breasts.

Thighplasty (Thigh Lift)

Thighplasty, or a thigh lift, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the thighs to create a more toned and proportionate leg contour. This procedure is often pursued by individuals who have experienced significant weight loss and are left with loose, sagging skin on the thighs that does not improve with exercise.

A thigh lift combined with an abdominoplasty is an option for individuals looking to achieve a lower body alteration. This combination addresses sagging skin and excess fat in both the abdominal and thigh areas, resulting in a smoother, more toned lower body appearance. It’s particularly effective for those who have undergone significant weight loss and wish to remove the remaining excess skin.

Benefits of Combining Procedures

Combining procedures, such as abdominoplasty with other surgeries like liposuction, breast lift – mastopexy, breast augmentation, breast reduction, or thighplasty, offers some benefits. These advantages range from improved aesthetic outcomes to practical considerations such as reduced overall recovery time and cost savings:

Complex Aesthetic Results

One of the most compelling reasons for combining procedures is the potential for enhanced aesthetic results. By addressing multiple areas of concern in a single surgical session, patients can achieve a different type of change. For instance, combining abdominoplasty with breast surgery can create a more balanced and proportionate figure, altering both the upper and lower body simultaneously. Similarly, adding liposuction can define the contours further, achieving results that might not be possible through a single procedure alone. This approach ensures that improvements are harmonious and proportionate, contributing to a more natural overall appearance.

Efficiency and Convenience

Undergoing multiple surgeries at once can be highly efficient, reducing the total time spent in surgery and anaesthesia over the long term. This approach is particularly appealing to those with busy lifestyles or limited availability for multiple recovery periods. By consolidating the surgical timeline, patients can address several areas with one anaesthesia administration and a single recovery period. This not only minimises the disruption to the patient’s life but also allows them to enjoy their change sooner, with a single, more manageable post-operative course.


Combining procedures may also be more cost-effective than undergoing separate surgeries. Many of the costs associated with surgery, such as fees for the surgical facility, anaesthesia, and surgeon’s fees, can be significantly reduced when procedures are performed together. While the initial investment may be higher, the overall cost savings can be substantial, making it a financially viable option for many patients. Additionally, this approach can reduce the indirect costs associated with recovery, such as time off work and caregiving expenses, further enhancing its economic appeal.

Reduced Overall Recovery Time

Although the recovery from combined procedures may be more intensive initially, the total time required for recovery is often less than the cumulative recovery periods of separate surgeries. This means that patients can return to their normal activities, work, and see their results sooner than if they had elected to undergo multiple surgeries at different times. The ability to consolidate recovery periods into a single timeframe is an advantage, allowing patients to navigate the post-operative phase more efficiently and with less overall downtime

Considerations and Risks

While combining abdominoplasty with other procedures can offer some benefits, it’s essential to approach this decision with an understanding of the potential risks involved. Patients should make informed choices, weighing the advantages against the possible complications and challenges of undergoing multiple surgeries simultaneously. Here are some of the risks associated with combined procedures:

Increased Surgery Time and Anaesthesia Exposure

One of the primary considerations when combining procedures is the increased duration of surgery and, consequently, the extended exposure to anaesthesia. Longer surgical times can elevate the risk of complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia. The cumulative effect of anaesthesia on the body’s systems requires careful evaluation by the surgical team to minimise risks and ensure patient safety. Patients with pre-existing health conditions or those at higher risk for anaesthesia-related complications must undergo a thorough pre-operative assessment to determine their suitability for combined procedures.

Recovery Complexity

Undergoing multiple procedures simultaneously can complicate the recovery process. The body’s healing capacity is taxed more heavily when multiple areas are healing simultaneously, potentially leading to a more challenging and uncomfortable recovery period. Pain management, mobility restrictions, and the overall healing timeline can be more complex than recovering from a single procedure. Patients need to be prepared for a more intensive post-operative care regimen, including potentially longer periods of time off work and daily activities, increased need for assistance at home, and possibly more follow-up visits.

Risk of Complications

Combining surgeries increases the overall risk of complications. These can include infection, bleeding, poor wound healing, and more pronounced swelling and bruising. The risk of unsatisfactory aesthetic outcomes, such as asymmetry or scarring, may also be elevated when multiple areas are operated on simultaneously. It’s important for patients to understand these risks and discuss them in detail with Dr Lim, ensuring that they have realistic expectations and a clear understanding of the potential for revision surgery or additional treatments to address complications.

Patient Health and Safety

The candidacy for combined procedures is not universal; it heavily depends on the patient’s overall health, medical history, and specific risk factors. Patients must undergo a complex medical evaluation to assess their ability to safely undergo extended surgery. Factors such as age, nutritional status, smoking, and chronic health conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease) play a significant role in determining suitability and risk levels. A patient’s safety is the main concern, and sometimes, separating procedures may be recommended to minimise risks.

FAQs about Abdominoplasty


Can a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty be revised?

  • Yes, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can be revised. Revision abdominoplasty is performed to address concerns or dissatisfaction with the results of an initial tummy tuck – abdominoplasty, such as unsatisfactory scar placement, residual excess skin or fat, or to correct complications that may have arisen. However, it’s important to note that revision surgery can be more complex than the initial procedure due to the presence of scar tissue and altered anatomy. Patients considering a revision should wait until their body has fully healed from the first surgery—usually a year—to ensure the best possible outcome.

Is extended tummy tuck – abdominoplasty safe?

  • An extended tummy tuck – abdominoplasty is generally considered safe. This procedure is more extensive than a standard tummy tuck – abdominoplasty and is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and the flanks or sides. Like any surgical procedure, it carries risks, such as infection, bleeding, and complications from anaesthesia. However, the safety of an extended tummy tuck – abdominoplasty can be maximised through a thorough pre-operative evaluation, careful surgical planning, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. Patients should ensure they fully understand the procedure, its risks, and the recovery process before proceeding.

What percentage of tummy tucks – abdominoplasties have complications?

  • The complication rate for tummy tuck – abdominoplasty varies, but studies suggest that it ranges from 4% to complications in more significant percentages, depending on various factors including the extent of the procedure, the patient’s health status, and the surgeon’s experience. Common complications include infection, bleeding, poor wound healing, and seroma formation. However, serious complications are less common and can be minimised through careful patient selection, meticulous surgical technique, and proper post-operative care.

Further Reading about Abdominoplasty with Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Jake Lim

Medical References about Combining Abdominoplasty with Other Procedures

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About Dr Jake Lim

Highly qualified and experienced specialist plastic surgeon Dr Jake Lim focuses on facial plastic, cosmetic breast and body contouring after significant weight loss

Dr Lim creates the best possible plastic surgery results for his Australia-wide and international patients.

Dr Lim is passionate about making sure each and every patient has access to the right information about available treatments and procedures and is able to make well-informed decisions.

At My Klinik, patient safety, education and achieving optimal results are our top priorities.

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