Patients often ask when it’s safe for them to travel by plane following major plastic surgery such as breast augmentation or a tummy tuck. If you find yourself needing to travel shortly after surgery or have traveled for the treatment itself, it is important to discuss this aspect with Dr. Malamet during pre-surgery consultations.
Although each surgeon has his or her own set of post-surgery protocols, the general guideline as to when air travel is allowed is at least one week following the procedure. The first post-operative week is extremely crucial because this is the time when complications are most likely to arise. In fact, we encourage patients who traveled for plastic surgery to stay at least a week in the same area as our office before flying home.
The risk of developing a blood clot is the most dangerous complication that might arise if you fly prematurely. First, long haul flights limit mobility. Second, air travel increases your risk of dehydration due to dry cabin air. These two factors can potentially lead to blood clot formation.
Lifting heavy baggage and running in airports to catch your flight can also increase your risk of bleeding. This is due to an elevated heart rate and an increase in blood pressure.
If you really need to fly less than a week following plastic surgery, we encourage you to take the following steps:
- Do not pull or lift heavy luggage. Have someone else do it for you.
- Arrive at the airport a few hours early to avoid running to catch your flight.
- Consume plenty of fluids before and during the flight.
- Long haul flights are discouraged. If you really need to fly for longer hours, try to walk around as much as possible, but don’t overdo it.
- Have medications and your surgeon or general doctor’s number in case complications arise.
Do you have more questions concerning flying after plastic surgery? Call us at 818.380.3130 or fill out this contact form to set up an appointment today!