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Combining with OBGYN Procedures

Planning to undergo a hysterectomy? Did you know that combining a hysterectomy with a cosmetic tummy tuck is a common dual procedure?

Women undergo a hysterectomy for a variety of reasons. It can be a very stressful time for patients who will be dealing with hormonal and body image changes. Undergoing a hysterectomy requires you to be completely asleep (a general anesthesia). Many women choose to combine their hysterectomy with other cosmetic procedures. This can be done safely and often the recovery time is the exact same.

How does it work:
-If a woman is undergoing a hysterectomy, Dr. Rai will work in conjunction with her OBGYN. Typically, Dr. Rai will make a low incision (bikini line) and open for the OBGYN. Your OBGYN will then perform the hysterectomy and Dr. Rai will come in after to finish the tummy tuck and close the incision. The patient gets the benefit of only having a low bikini incision, getting rid of the excess skin and fat in the tummy, tightening up the six-pack muscle (diastasis repair), and having a plastic surgeon close your incision. The result not only allows the patient to get the hysterectomy performed, the patient also gets the slimming look and feel she has always wanted in the same operation. The recovery time is the same and the patients are followed closely by Dr. Rai and your OBGYN.

I’ve heard I need to have my muscle repaired?
-Rectus diastasis occurs when the six pack muscles separate from the abdominal stretch during pregnancy. No amount of core training or exercise will repair this separation. At the time of the tummy tuck Dr. Rai uses a suture plication technique to repair this separation and restore the muscle tone to the abdominal wall.

What if I don’t have enough skin to perform a tummy tuck?
-Some patients who are very thin still choose to have Dr. Rai involved in the process. If that’s the case, Dr. Rai will make the initial incision through a small bikini line incision, give the OBGYN the access to perform the procedure, and then close the incision. So, while no skin needs to be removed, the incision is still repaired by a board-certified plastic surgeon with attention to detail and with the goal of creating as fine of a scar as possible.

What if I need to have a tumor removed (ovarian or in the uterus)?
-Some OBGYNs will perform these procedures through an up and down scar traveling past the belly button. For a lot of young patients who have not had any surgeries before, the scar can be more anxiety provoking than the tumor itself. Dr. Rai can work with your OBGYN to again create a low bikini line incision instead of the longer and more noticeable up and down scar. Dr. Rai will then close the incision himself as well to try to minimize the scarring over time.

What procedures can be done at the same time as the hysterectomy?
-Basically, all cosmetic procedures can be performed at the same time and require no more down time or time off work than the hysterectomy itself. These procedures can be done safely and while you are asleep for your hysterectomy. These include breast lifts, breast reductions, breast augmentations, facial procedures, and liposuction.

How long is the recovery period when a hysterectomy is combined with another cosmetic procedure?

-One of the many benefits of combining hysterectomy with other cosmetic procedures is the shorter recovery process. Combining a hysterectomy with another procedure requires only a single recovery period, making it so patients don’t need to take as much time away from their busy schedules. Undergoing a separate cosmetic procedure would add more to the total recovery time.

The recovery period for each combination of procedures will be different. At maximum, the longest recovery period is for abdominal hysterectomy, which is four to six weeks.

Will my insurance cover these cosmetic procedures?
-Medical insurance will cover your hysterectomy and hospital stay but will not cover these additional procedures. Speak with your insurance provider to confirm your coverage.

Are there risks to combining cosmetic procedures with a hysterectomy?

-Combining cosmetic procedures reduces the risk of complications when under anesthesia and decreases the stress on the body during and after surgery.

The risks of hysterectomy and cosmetic procedures are independent of each other. Potential complications of hysterectomy include bowel blockage, torn internal stitches, and urinary tract injury. Potential complications of cosmetic procedures include blood clots, infection, bleeding, and issues related to anesthesia.

While these risks may sound intimidating, they are rare, and many occur in less than 1% of cases. A board-certified surgeon undergoes years of training and continuous education to avoid these complications.

Why choose Dr. Rai for this procedure?
-Dr. Rai is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is very experienced in doing these combination procedures with OBGYNs. He has been performing combination tummy tucks and other cosmetic procedures at the same time as your hysterectomy for years and therefore understands how to do these operations safely and with amazing results for his patients.

I’m having my procedure done by my OBGYN soon, what should I do?
-Call Dr. Rai at the Cosmetic Surgical Center at 972-566-6500 or visit us at www.drrai.net to schedule your free consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for these procedures.