This is one of the most frequently asked questions by our patients. No surprise because it is one of the questions in plastic surgery which divides the surgeons. While some plastic surgeons give a green light for a simultaneous BBL and Tummy Tuck operation; some of them advise the opposite. This is because each plastic surgeon is different, so is their practice.
So, how are we going to decide? When you need to decide on any plastic surgery treatment, it is always a good idea to do some background research first. Then, seek some professional advice from qualified and experienced plastic surgeons. We know that the first step might be easier than the latter. The internet is full of information about anything you look for. But the question is how trustable are they? Or whether these resources are based on expert opinions or not.
This is the very reason why we are here and writing this blog piece for you! We will try to elaborate on this question by giving opinions from three different contracted plastic surgeons of MCAN Health. Yes, we contacted three of them separately and asked the very same question to each:
Is it safe to have BBL and Tummy Tuck together?
The great news is that you will get to read three different pieces of advice. You will read their different views with their reasoning. But before we do that, let’s start with the basics as usual.
What is Tummy Tuck?
Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure that aims to flatten the stomach by removing excess skin. The surgery tightens the muscles underneath the abdomen by removing the unwanted fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen areas. This surgery is performed on the front part of your body.
What is BBL?
Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) is a plastic surgery procedure that aims to enhance the size and shape of the buttocks. Your natural fat extracted by liposuction from your tummy or other parts of your body are injected into your buttocks for a fuller look. This surgery is performed on the backside of your body.
So, now we have covered the basic and necessary facts about BBL and Tummy Tuck, it is time to hear from our contracted plastic surgeons. Finally, in the end, you will have a holistic view!
What Do Plastic Surgeons Say?
Let’s start with Dr. Murat who is not in favour of a combined BBL and Tummy Tuck surgery. His main reason is about the recovery period.
Dr. Murat advises: ‘I would not perform a combined BBL and Tummy Tuck. BBL operates on your bum which is on the back of your body whereas tummy tuck operates on your belly which is on the front side of your body. After your BBL surgery, you are advised to sleep in the facedown position for at least 45 days. Tummy Tuck requires the opposite, you should not sleep on your stomach, you need to sleep on your back for at least 45 days. I would even suggest these sleeping arrangements to be followed for about 3 months for a timely and smooth recovery. If a patient has the two at the same time, they may have difficulties in the recovery period.’
Let’s continue with the second expert opinion.
Dr. Habib suggests performing these two operations separately while acknowledging that technically it is possible to perform BBL and Tummy Tuck together.
‘If the patient’s BMI is over 40, a combined BBL and Tummy Tuck is a NO NO! Because it may increase the risk of fat embolism. Additionally, BBL requires sleeping on your stomach after the surgery while tummy tuck requires the opposite. These sleeping arrangements are important not only for the comfort of the patient but also for the success of the surgeries. Therefore, I would suggest BBL and Tummy Tuck performed separately.
However, this does not mean that it is not possible to perform these two together. It is indeed possible. Especially when the patient travels overseas for their treatment and has limited time or when they prefer to have surgery/anesthesia once. Also, for the patients who have fat around the belly area, it is good to use this fat extracted by liposuction during BBL.
But it is important to communicate with the patient that the expectations for BBL should be lower if these two are combined. It is because of the different sleeping arrangements. The patient will sleep on their back which will inevitably put pressure on the bum, some injected fat will lose form as a result. But again this does not mean that the patient will not be happy with the results. They will surely have enhanced buttocks thanks to fat extracted during the liposuction.’
Dr. Omer who is in favour of a combined BBL and Tummy Tuck as long as the patient is medically fit shares his argument with some important advice to the patients who consider having both at once.
‘BBL and Tummy Tuck can be performed simultaneously as long as the patient is under the age of 55 and medically fit; no chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. We use an epidural catheter for minimal pain after the surgery which is removed 2 or 3 days after the surgery.
One of the common questions about a combined BBL and Tummy Tuck is about sleeping. We suggest our patients put pillows under their back and bum. This way the bum will be lifted. So, you avoid any pressure on your bum.
By using an epidural catheter and these sleeping arrangements, we minimise the pain and improve the comfort of the patient. And by having BBL and Tummy Tuck at the same time, the belly area becomes slimmer thanks to 360 liposuction.
It is important for the patients who consider having BBL and Tummy Tuck together to know that they will stay at the hospital for 2 days and in Istanbul for at least 10 days. For Tummy Tuck, we insert a small tube into the abdomen to drain off the fluid which needs to stay there for about 5 to 10 days. And they need to wear the corset that we provide for 6 months. Another important point that affects the success of the surgery is exercise and diet. Patients need to start a diet 4 weeks and exercise 6 weeks after the surgery. The aim is to lose at least 6.6 pounds (3 kilograms) per month. We provide our patients with a diet and exercise plan.’
As you can see, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. The answer completely depends on your unique circumstances and your plastic surgeon’s advice. Therefore, it is very important to have a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon to discuss your circumstances and expectations. In case you do not know, MCAN Health offers free consultations. You just need to fill in this form for us to be able to contact you.