Plastic surgeons around the globe have seen a sharp increase in cosmetic surgery enquiries this year, variously ascribed to the wearing of face masks driving a demand for eyelid lifts or to Zoom face envy. Another trend we’ve seen in clinic is the advent of multiple procedures.
A lot of people may have one, two or even three issues they want to address. They are thinking, what is the best way to deal with it from both a cost and recovery perspective.
The recovery time is the same whether you have three procedures during the single operation or just one. You’re recovering in parallel in three areas. If you need two weeks for your eyes, two weeks for your tummy and two weeks for your face, you won’t need six weeks to recover – you’ll do it in the two weeks. It is more effective to recover from two operations at the same time rather than having them done separately where you’d have two recoveries, which is always more difficult work wise when arranging time off and a bigger expense for hospital fees.
How do clinicians differ?
Each surgeon has a specific style and technique that sets them apart. We assume that all doctors are on the same level but it isn’t actually the case as all abilities differ.
A lot of surgeons have made a name for themselves by saying I only do faces, or I only do breasts. But the beauty of our clinic is that I’m able to offer multiple procedures. Some surgeons may do a facelift but won’t touch the eyes or will do the breasts but won’t attempt a tummy tuck and that’s a problem – if you’re trying to reframe the face or reshape the body then you need a surgeon that is able to address each problem area. Otherwise, the patient will just be left disappointed with the result
Experience is essential. The perceived notion is often that if a surgeon only does breasts, they have got to be the best at breasts. And, yes, the surgeon probably is good at breasts but that doesn’t mean surgeons that do a wider range of procedures are not, it comes down to the surgeon's overall experience and skill set.
I perform about 12 to 15 procedures, but I only offer operations that I know I’m very skilled and experienced in. I will not offer an operation that I haven’t done countless times. Like anything in life, the more you do something the better you are at it and I’ve been blessed over the last 23 years to perform between 15,000 and 20,000 operations. Anything I offer on my website I know that I can perform to the very highest level.
The Safety Factor
Each patient is unique, so the first thing to establish is whether combination cosmetic surgery is the best option for the patient. Often though, to achieve the optimal result it’s essential to operate on two areas. The mummy makeover is a very popular combination procedure. Pregnancy changes typically affect both the breasts and tummy and so often patients want them both addressed, or they will be left dissatisfied. Additionally, eyelids and facelifts are a popular combination because it is all one picture frame if you like. The other common combination procedure is for men and it targets their man boobs and love handles.
The limit is obviously anaesthetic time. There is a time limit of roughly four and a half hours to keep a patient safely under anaesthetic so whatever I can do safely in that timeframe I will do. Anaesthetic time plays a huge role and the longer the anaesthetic time is the more chances of potential postoperative problems such as thrombosis and stiffness in the recovery period, which is why it is important to opt with an experienced surgeon who has the technological background to keep the patient safe.
Recovery is also an important factor in offering multiple procedures. As surgeons, we all differ, and some are more heavy-handed than others. Some lean on or stretch the tissues more and the recovery will be longer. What this means is there are different instruments that you can use and each has their own traumatic effect. I deal with tissue in a very effective way that uses heat which separates the tissue and at the same time stops any bleeding because it is much easier on patients and they feel much less pain with this technique.