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Thoughts on having "the works"? (multiple procedures during one surgery)



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I'm still in the research phase, but I have a few surgeons I'm very interested in. One of the surgeons often does a lower body lift, a thigh lift, chest work and an arm lift in one procedure. This is equal parts exciting and scary. He has an excellent reputation for results and safety, but that is a LOT of trauma. I think the other surgeons I'm looking at would likely require three surgeries for the that amount of work. If each surgery is two or three months before you're back to normal, that's an ADDITIONAL four to six months of recovery time versus having everything done at once. The idea of getting past the stage of my life in one surgery is VERY appealing. At the moment I'm leaning toward getting "the works" done and doing absolutely everything in my power to ensure that the recovery is a smooth as possible, but I'd love to hear feedback from folks who have gone down this road.

Did anyone here have "the works" done and, if so, are you glad you did it?

Thanks!

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This would be my dream. But somehow I think the time on the table would be quite long, therefore increasing the risk of e. g. PE. Plus I guess recovery time would be quite long when having so much work done at once.

However, I'm going to get combination of two. Single surgery is out of the question for me.

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I had multiple procedures done in one shot...though not sure if its considered “the works”: had a Tummy Tuck, breast lift and arm lift this past December.

Recovery was a little on the rough side, but if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it the same way. A couple months of recovery was enough for me...i wouldn’t want to have to go through that multiple times. But that’s just me...there are others who also had multiple surgeries as well on here and probably didn’t complain half as much as i did.

Surgeons often have a time limit on how long they want their patients to be under. Mine didn’t want to go over 6 hours.

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The main advice that I have seen, and my wife and I were given when going through this, is that things are a lot more difficult on the recovery side if you have both your upper body and lower body worked on at the same time. Think of trying to get out of a chair, or out of bed, with both your arms and legs (along with your abs) impaired. Usually, it is best to have one or the other fairly healthy and strong to help compensate for the other. They can all be done at once, and I know of people who have done that, but that really puts you down and makes you seriously dependent upon someone else to help during that recovery period. That, and you have that many more JP drains to fiddle with!

As with most things in life, there are compromises and trade offs. Getting it all done at once is appealing, but it does tend to put you that much farther down for a while, rather than being semi-functional for a longer overall recovery time.

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8 hours ago, summerset said:

This would be my dream. But somehow I think the time on the table would be quite long, therefore increasing the risk of e. g. PE. Plus I guess recovery time would be quite long when having so much work done at once.

However, I'm going to get combination of two. Single surgery is out of the question for me.

I expect the recovery to be brutal, but I think I can handle one brutal recovery over three "normal" recoveries, but I may be fooling myself... Two surgeries would probably be fine, but I really dislike the idea of spreading out everything over three surgeries.

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4 hours ago, ms.sss said:

I had multiple procedures done in one shot...though not sure if its considered “the works”: had a Tummy Tuck, breast lift and arm lift this past December.

Recovery was a little on the rough side, but if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it the same way. A couple months of recovery was enough for me...i wouldn’t want to have to go through that multiple times. But that’s just me...there are others who also had multiple surgeries as well on here and probably didn’t complain half as much as i did.

Surgeons often have a time limit on how long they want their patients to be under. Mine didn’t want to go over 6 hours.

If that's not the works, it's pretty darn close. The surgeon I'm looking at for "the works" does marathon surgeries on a regular basis, but he uses an epidural and twilight anesthesia as opposed to general anesthesia. It's my understanding that allows for a much longer surgery without the risks you'd face if you were under general anesthesia.

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3 hours ago, RickM said:

The main advice that I have seen, and my wife and I were given when going through this, is that things are a lot more difficult on the recovery side if you have both your upper body and lower body worked on at the same time. Think of trying to get out of a chair, or out of bed, with both your arms and legs (along with your abs) impaired. Usually, it is best to have one or the other fairly healthy and strong to help compensate for the other. They can all be done at once, and I know of people who have done that, but that really puts you down and makes you seriously dependent upon someone else to help during that recovery period. That, and you have that many more JP drains to fiddle with!

As with most things in life, there are compromises and trade offs. Getting it all done at once is appealing, but it does tend to put you that much farther down for a while, rather than being semi-functional for a longer overall recovery time.

This touches on one of my concerns. I'd stay locally for an extended period of time after the surgery and I'd have some nursing assistance, so I wouldn't be completely on my own. I think I can handle the extra misery, but I am concerned that I'm more likely to rip stitches or cause some other complication because of my inability to compensate with my legs or arms. I have thought about splitting the difference and having two surgeries.

I've looked at this every which way and I think you're exactly right about compromises. Decisions, decisions...

Thanks for your input!

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3 hours ago, FatboySkin said:

I expect the recovery to be brutal, but I think I can handle one brutal recovery over three "normal" recoveries, but I may be fooling myself... Two surgeries would probably be fine, but I really dislike the idea of spreading out everything over three surgeries.

This. I think it will be two in my case (depending on what insurance will pay for the surgeon will combine one or the other way). Arms will be a combo - insurance won't pay for arms I guess. Butt - I don't know if butt will really be necessary. Surgeon said that I should wait and see. He claimed that once the thighs are made (mine look really awful and out of proportion in the upper inner part) I won't be bothered much by my the butt? Can't imagine this but he's the pro after all.

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6 hours ago, RickM said:

As with most things in life, there are compromises and trade offs. Getting it all done at once is appealing, but it does tend to put you that much farther down for a while, rather than being semi-functional for a longer overall recovery time.

The recovery times are obviously a problem then. I would deem time on the table as a problem as well. Surgeon said arms and abdomen together would be no problem. Then breasts and thighs together. There are several combos possible. Breasts and abdomen would also be an option but arms and thighs together doesn't seem like the greatest combo somehow.

Fast recovery time is important for me out of various reasons. That I'm going to have surgery before 2021 seems to be unrealistic as well. Too much on my table of life right now. Yes, I'm postponing again (sigh) but honestly, surgery won't run away while other important things are time sensitive and getting urgent right now.

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I am post op day 3 from lower body lift-butt lift, panniculectomy, abdomanoplasty and also brachioplasty. My advice would be don’t do arms and legs together. You need your legs to help get into bed or chair because you can’t use your arms ! The pain is extreme! Also, I was in the OR 12.5 hrs for just that much surgery because they had trouble waking me up and getting me to breathe. My next phase is upper body lift-boobs and back. The last phase is thighs and fat grafting to boobs. By the way my friend had arms and legs at the same time and she said she couldn’t move for days!

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You could not have the upper body done with an epidural. If they did one that high you wouldn’t breathe.

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Posted (edited)

On 8/25/2020 at 2:14 AM, summerset said:

He claimed that once the thighs are made (mine look really awful and out of proportion in the upper inner part) I won't be bothered much by my the butt? Can't imagine this but he's the pro after all.

Depending on the state of your thighs, a tummy tuck/lower body lift *could* address it. I was seriously considering getting my thighs done at some later date prior to my my Tummy Tuck. Turns out all the yanking smoothed out my thighs so that I no longer feel the need for a thigh lift.

...my butt however is still too saggy for my liking. Been doing butt firming exercises to address it, and while I do notice some improvement (especially clothed) I know nothing will take away my double-chin-like ass cheeks except surgery.

...soooo, maybe a lower body lift will do for the ass what the tummy tuck does for the thighs? ...i dunno, just another thing to think about when planning the order of surgeries...

Edited by ms.sss

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I had a Tummy Tuck with anchor incision, breast lift with implants, and arm lift all done at the same time. Interestingly enough, the arm lift was the most uncomfortable part. I planned ahead well and rented a recliner with a lift, borrowed a walker, and had helpers on standby. The first week was a bit tough, but I never regretted it, and it was great that I didn't have to take all that time off work several times.

Even though this was a lot of surgery, my plan was to do the back half of the tummy tuck (to make a circumferential lift) and thigh lift in a second surgery, which for various reasons never happened. Since then I have had to take my lap band out and have gained weight. So I need to get that under control before I can finish my surgical transformation. But I still do not regret doing multiple procedures in one operation.

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On 8/24/2020 at 3:45 PM, ms.sss said:

I had multiple procedures done in one shot...though not sure if its considered “the works”: had a Tummy Tuck, breast lift and arm lift this past December.

This is exactly what I am hoping I can find a surgeon to do at one time. I'm still about 30 lbs from goal and am just starting researching surgeons. Would you mind sharing your surgeon?

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11 hours ago, loridee11 said:

This is exactly what I am hoping I can find a surgeon to do at one time. I'm still about 30 lbs from goal and am just starting researching surgeons. Would you mind sharing your surgeon?

Sent you a PM ❤️

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