"Extreme" Cosmetic Surgery -- Study Finds No Extra Complications with Combined Procedures

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Combining multiple cosmetic surgeries into one operation does not increase risks for patients of Marina del Rey Plastic Surgeon.

There is no denying the continued popularity of cosmetic surgery and procedures: Americans are very interested in looking the best they can. As technology and surgical procedures improve, elective surgery has become a viable option for more and more people. Often, when people begin to consider cosmetic surgery they become interested in several procedures that would mean multiple operations. Now, as highlighted in many television shows, news segments and magazine articles, more people opt to combine procedures into one operation, saving costs and healing time periods as well as seeing the final results more quickly.

While multiple procedures in one operation saved time and money, it was important to determine if there were drawbacks. Traditional surgical thinking believed prolonged anesthesia could increase risks or complications, but definitive data did not exist. Dr. Grant Stevens, director of Marina Plastic Surgery, began to study complication rates in hundreds of patients who underwent cosmetic surgeries in the last ten years to determine if “extreme” cosmetic surgery posed extra complication. The findings were impressive: there was no statistically significant increase in minor or major complications.

The study involved 248 patients over a ten-year period. Each of the patients received abdominoplasty surgery from Dr. Stevens. The groups were divided into those who had abdominoplasty only, abdominoplasty with breast surgery, abdominoplasty with face-lift surgery, and abdominoplasty with both breast and face-lift surgery. While risks and complications are rare in surgery, they can happen and physicians always discuss adverse possibilities with their patients prior to surgery. Minor complications studied included seroma, hematoma, infection, and small wound infection. Major complications studied included bit was not limited to large flap necrosis, the necessity for blood transfusions, deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, and myocardial infarction.

"No significant difference in morbidity or complication rates was found in the four different groups studied," said Dr. Stevens. "Plus, the study shows that combined procedures may yield higher patient satisfaction." Combined procedures allow patients to see their results more quickly and require less time off from work.

Dr. Stevens is quick to point out that he is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with over 25 years of surgical experience. "This combination of procedures should only be done by surgeons with proper training and experience," says Dr. Stevens. "I recommend that patients insist on a surgeon with certification by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and hospital privileges to perform this surgery as a minimum requirement. I also recommend that the anesthesiologist be a Board Certified Medical doctor."

In the past, each desired procedure would require a separate operation. This meant that the patient would need multiple periods of time off from work, multiple recovery periods, and multiple surgical costs. The final result could take months or a year to see. While patients would still be happy in the long run, there was a definite need to help simplify the process. Over the last 10 years, surgery has become safer and more efficient. In addition, patients are requiring less time in the hospital. The need for overnight stays began to decline and more patients are being released the same day as their surgery.

"There are many advantages to combining procedures. A single recovery period and reduced surgery costs are two examples, but the biggest might be faster patient gratification," said Dr. Stevens. "A changing medical environment in conjunction with the high patient demand really encouraged the advancements that made combined procedures possible. This study supports the safety of combined procedures performed by a Board Certified plastic surgeon."

Dr. Grant Stevens is a California Board-Certified plastic surgeon and the Medical Director of Plastic Surgery Associates in Marina del Rey and Palos Verdes. He specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery and has been named one of America's Best Physicians in The Guide to Top Doctors. Dr. Stevens was nominated by his colleagues which makes this recognition especially prestigious and rewarding. He is an active member at Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital where he was the Chairman of the Department of Surgery for 6 years and the co-director of the Breast Center. He is also on staff at St. John's Medical Center and the Marina Outpatient Surgery Center.

The report "Extreme" Cosmetic Surgery: A Retrospective Study of Morbidity in Patients Undergoing Combined Procedures was published in the July / August 2004 issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal. For more information, go to http://www.marinaplasticsurgery.com.

Contact Information

Charlie Sheridan, Director

Marina Plastic Surgery Associates

(310) 678-0354

info @ marinaplasticsurgery.com

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Charlie Sheridan
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