Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like to have a facelift done while I am in surgery for removal of my thyroid. i would also like to have my breasts lifted. It would seem to make the most sense to do all of these procedures at the same time.

A: Understandably the concept of combining a facelift, breast lifts and a thyroidectomy would seem to make the most sense from a surgical and recovery efficiency standpoint. And to a large degree it is. However, the hurdles to overcome to put this surgical combination together are substantial. The first is to check with your thyroid surgeon to make sure he/she would be comfortable in doing so. Plastic surgeons are comfortable doing a large number of procedures at the same time, but many non-plastic surgeons are not. Then there is finding the surgeons who are willing to do so and have their schedules find a mutual operative date. Equally, if not more importantly, then there is the cost of trying to do cosmetic surgery in a hospital where the thyroidectomy would almost assuredly have to be performed. The costs of cosmetic surgery, such as lengthy procedures as a facelift, in a hospital are often substantially higher than what they would be in a outpatient or private surgery center. These hurdles are not impossible to overcome but will be challenging. It may be far easier to have your thyroidectomy done first and then the facelift and breast lifts done separately days to a week later.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana