If you are thinking of rejuvenating your figure, it’s no surprise that you are considering combining a tummy tuck with a Brazilian butt lift (BBL). These procedures perfectly complement each other, dramatically enhancing the other’s results. But it’s important to be a good candidate health-wise and to have realistic expectations for the recovery. Combining these two procedures is an involved surgery, so you’ll also need to carefully select the right surgeon for you. Today’s blog covers everything you need to know about this procedure combination.
Can you combine body contouring plastic surgery procedures?
Yes, you can combine multiple body contouring procedures in one surgery; it is especially common to combine procedures with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). A “mommy makeover” is one prime example, as it typically includes a tummy tuck plus breast surgery and liposuction. It is usually safe for patients to combine 2-3 procedures in one.
There are a number of benefits to combining plastic surgeries:
- You will have one single surgery day, and you will only have to undergo anesthesia once.
- Your combined recovery may save you time in the long run, rather than having two separate recovery periods.
- You may choose to combine procedures whose results complement each other to get more ideal, comprehensive results.
- You will save some facility, anesthesia, and staffing-related surgical costs that are part of your total fees each time you have surgery. For example, you will only pay anesthesia fees once.
How many plastic surgery procedures are too many?
There is a limit to the number of plastic surgeries that can safely be performed at once because, in my experience, patient recoveries become more challenging if the operative time exceeds 7 hours. The length of the surgery depends on which procedures are being performed, and operative times vary from surgeon to surgeon.
It is important that your plastic surgeon reviews your medical history. If you are healthy, you may be a good candidate for combined procedures. However, if you have medical issues, sometimes it is better and safer to do a smaller procedure and, as they say, “come back and fight another day.”
Is it normal to do a tummy tuck and a Brazilian butt lift (BBL) at the same time?
It is possible to combine these two procedures for a complete transformation of the midsection. The tummy tuck creates an hourglass figure by tightening muscles and loose skin at the front of the abdomen, while a BBL is a two-step procedure that involves removing fat (via liposuction) from the flanks, thighs, or abdomen and re-injecting that fat into the buttocks and hips to create a “snatched” waist and fuller, higher buttock contour.
However, the decision to undergo this procedure combination should be made in consultation with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon, with a full understanding of the risks inherent with a longer surgical time, as well as the unique recovery considerations.
How will I sleep after getting a tummy tuck and a BBL?
This is important. Remember, if you have a tummy tuck by itself, it is important to remain flexed at your waist at all times for 7-10 days. Patients generally sleep on their back in the flexed position (think: recliner position). For patients that undergo a BBL by itself, we recommend no prolonged pressure to the buttocks for 7-10 days. So BBL patients sleep on their side.
So how do patients rest/sleep when they opt for a BBL and a tummy tuck? I generally recommend they sleep on their side in the fetal position to allow them to be flexed at their waist, protecting the tummy tuck incision. If you can’t rest on your side, then a special BBL recovery pillow (lots of options out there) can protect the buttocks and allow you to sleep in the recliner position.
Is it safe to combine abdominoplasty and BBL?
Yes, it is safe for many of my patients who are in good health to combine a tummy tuck with fat transfer to the buttocks. If you are generally a good candidate for surgery (i.e. non-smoker, BMI less than 30, in good health, and at a weight you plan to maintain), then you are likely safe to undergo this combined procedure. We will review your goals and your full medical history during your consultation, however, to come to a conclusion. With longer combined procedures, it is important that your plastic surgeon reviews blood clot prevention plans (deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis), too.
How to be sure you receive a safe BBL
You may have heard that BBL is an unsafe procedure. This reputation developed because numerous underqualified surgeons were using a dangerous technique that involved injecting deep into the gluteal muscle. Thankfully, experienced board certified plastic surgeons are well aware of newer BBL protocols and safely deliver results by injecting only into superficial tissues of the buttocks. In fact, recent studies show that use of safe techniques (subcutaneous fat transfer) makes the BBL procedure as safe as any other procedure in cosmetic plastic surgery.
Because proper BBL technique is critical to your safety—and unsafe providers or cheap “strip-mall” cosmetic clinics often advertise low-cost BBLs—do not choose your surgeon based on price alone. Take the time needed to do your research, looking for the board certified plastic surgeons in your area with the most BBL procedure experience. You can read more about proper BBL protocols here and learn how to evaluate a plastic surgeon here.
How close together can you have two cosmetic surgeries?
For patients who choose not to combine cosmetic procedures in one operation, the alternative is to space them apart into two separate surgeries. The necessary recovery time between your first surgery and second surgery should be decided on a case-by-case basis. The time interval depends on many variables, including an individual’s healing potential and the nature of the procedures being performed. The wait time can be shorter—as soon as 4-6 weeks after the first procedure—if the first procedure was less intensive, you are in excellent health, and the second procedure will be performed in a different area of the body.
Should I do BBL or tummy tuck first?
For some patients, we may recommend a BBL first, since the BBL is a two-step process that involves liposuction and we may need to harvest the fat from the waist area that would otherwise be affected by the tummy tuck (we combine liposuction with most tummy tucks for best results).
Other patients may have enough fat in other areas of the body that undergoing a tummy tuck first will pose no problems for having enough fat for a BBL later on. These are all considerations that Dr. Basu will discuss with you, based on your unique anatomy, during your consultation.
Considering plastic surgery in Houston? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Bob Basu.
Dr. Bob Basu is a board certified plastic surgeon with offices in Houston and Cypress, TX. With over 17 years of experience performing aesthetic plastic surgery, Dr. Basu was recently named one of “America’s Best Plastic Surgeons of 2021” by Newsweek Magazine, and Basu Aesthetics + Plastic Surgery won “Best Mommy Makeover” in the 2021 Houston Chronicle Best of the Best Houston Awards. To learn more, we invite you to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Basu by calling (713) 799-2278 or contacting us online.
Now offering surgical appointments at our Galleria/Uptown Houston location.