Can I get a facelift and rhinoplasty at the same time? This is a question I often get, and it really begs a bigger question, and that is what procedures make sense to do simultaneously and what shouldn’t be done? Often with surgery we like to get as many things as we can safely get done in one time because there are advantages. Here’s a guide.
What are the advantages of getting multiple procedures at the same time?
There are monetary advantages. When we do multiple things at once, it costs a little bit less than it does to separately do several procedures. There’s another advantage. We get simultaneous healing. So the downtime is less if we do a lot of things together than if we added together the downtime of a facelift, and a rhinoplasty, and eyelid surgery and other things that we might do.
When should I do multiple procedures at the same time?
There are several components that go into whether or not it makes sense to do multiple procedures at the same time. I like to do the procedures that I feel are appropriate for the patient. Assuming we’ve identified the procedures — there may be multiple procedures at once (a chin implant, some liposuction, a facelift, eyelid surgery, upper eyelid surgery, lower, a brow lift and maybe even a rhinoplasty) — I would do them all at the same time. Now, here are the components that go into whether or not that makes sense or does not:
Number one, who’s the patient? Is the patient healthy, can they tolerate a little longer procedure? You need to get a team assembled as a surgeon that will allow you to do safe surgery, that lets you get a good result. Once that occurs, I like to do as many things together and I often do all of those things that I’ve just mentioned together.
Consider the Surgeon
The next thing is who’s the surgeon? If the surgeon is somebody who is very efficient in the operating room, the procedure can take less time, and if we get the procedures done in less time, it’s safer for the patient. They get off the operating table faster, they swell less, etc. I’m a fairly efficient surgeon, personally. So, I think that makes a difference in my patients’ outcomes. You have to talk to the doctor as to how long this procedure will take. Even when I do all these things at once, often it does not take me more than four hours. A lot of my multiple procedures take me two and a half hours or less.
A patient has to look at costs, and whether or not they can afford all the procedures they want. As I mentioned, the cost is always less doing things together, because the first hour of anesthesia is usually the most expensive. And the first hour in the operating room is usually the most expensive. If we do one surgery, we have only one first hour. And while every surgeon’s billing process is different, I tend to give a little bit of a volume price reduction when I do multiple things at once. So when I look at all that, the cost is less.
For the patient, their healing time is effectively less with one multiple procedure surgery, than if they do it multiple individual procedures. So, I tell patients all about this, and why these things are important. All this said, there are a couple of things that I don’t like to do together. I usually do not do a subnasal lip lift and a rhinoplasty at the same time. I do most of my rhinoplasties with an open approach, and that requires a little incision on the columella. Because the lip lift also requires an incision in that same area, that puts the skin in between at a little bit of vascular risk. I stage that procedure when they want both. I do the rhinoplasty during the big procedure, then the patient comes back later for a lip lift under local anesthesia, in my office.
What is recovery like after getting a facelift and rhinoplasty at the same time?
The recovery for a facelift might be 10 days, and the recovery for a rhinoplasty is relatively the same. If you do them together the recovery is still about 10 days. So, I like doing them together, because the total recovery time is effectively 50% less. So, it’s nicer and shorter together.
How should I choose a facial plastic surgeon?
Have a consultation. The consultation is the most important thing. It’s like a first date. You want to see if you’re comfortable. You want to see if the person seems honest to you. You want to see if the patient gets along with the surgeon and the surgeon says reasonable things to the patient. You want to have trust in both directions. Then you want to decide if what the surgeon describes is what you want. Are they listening to you? If all those things are going well, you’ve probably chosen a good person. Also, you should choose somebody with experience. Personally, I’ve done this for 35 years and performed over twenty thousand operations. Lastly, if you’re thinking about multiple procedures, ask about the timing and recovery. How often do they do multiple procedures? For me, it’s very frequent that I do these multiple procedure operations.
Have questions about rhinoplasty and facelift procedures?
Email Dr. Sykes at [email protected]
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About Dr. Jonathan Sykes
Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.
He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr. Sykes at [email protected].