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What Do Cosmetic Surgery and Aviation Have in Common?

There are many similarities between cosmetic surgery and aviation. The most dangerous times of a flight occur during takeoff and landing. Whether a flight is one, two, three, or even four hours long, the risk is still the same. Similarly, the most dangerous times during cosmetic surgery are when the patient goes to sleep and wakes up, no matter the length of the operation. Along the same lines, when flights are longer than five hours, extra fuel and entertainment are needed. Comparably, when a surgery is more than five hours, special requirements for body temperature and fluid control are required.

So in theory, a nonstop flight from Miami to New York is safer than a flight that has a layover in Atlanta due to the additional takeoffs and landings necessary to complete layover. Now, I’m not saying that flights with layovers are not safe, but theoretically, it’s safer to fly nonstop. In regard to surgery, if a patient undergoing breast surgery knows they will also need and/or want a tummy tuck in the near future, it is often safer to perform the two surgeries at the same time. This way, there is only one anesthetic and one recovery period as opposed to two separate procedures that require two anesthetics and two recovery periods.

That being said, as a general rule I do not believe in so called “extreme makeovers” (after all, this is cosmetic surgery, and safety is always paramount). However, combination procedures – such as the mommy makeover – can be performed in a very safe fashion by a skilled plastic surgeon and experienced surgical staff.

Dr. Robert Rothfield, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

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