There are not many similarities between a hysterectomy and a tummy tuck, but some surgeons say the two procedures can be performed together without any adverse effects. Initial research found no major complications among women who combined the two surgeries, HealthDay News reports.
The study looked at 65 women with an average age of 46 who underwent both a tummy tuck procedure and hysterectomy at the same time. Researchers found no major side effects, but they did discover that 32 percent of the patients experienced minor complications. In particular, 10 percent had a fever, 8 percent had wound complications and 2 percent had a urinary tract infection. The findings are very preliminary, and while combining the surgery may be right for some people, doctors urge caution.
"[The surgery] could be safe for some patients," Dr. Angela Kerr, chief of the gynecology program at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, told the news source. "But it depends on patient selection: Do the patients have other conditions like diabetes or hypertension? That may play a role in the risk of complications."
Surgeons say the most significant benefit of combining the two procedures is to reduce costs and the overall recovery time. The combination seems odd, given one is a serious medical procedure and the other is cosmetic, but it may become increasingly common over the next several years.
Hysterectomies are the second most-frequently performed surgery on women (behind childbirth) and are performed for a number of reasons. According to WebMD, the surgery is often performed to treat cancer, chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, there were nearly 116,000 tummy tuck procedures performed in 2011.