Question Regarding Traveling After Surgery?

I am having an abdominoplasty/panniculectomy and mastopexy/augmentation (150cc saline). I am having the surgery about 4 hours from my home and will have a 23 hour hospital stay immediately following. I'll have drains that need to be removed about 1 week post op. I have made arrangements to stay at a hotel in the area for that week in-between, but now think I'd prefer to be home in my own bed. Is it ok to travel home, via car as a passenger, the day after surgery then back the next week?

Doctor Answers 7

Traveling after Mommy Makeover?

Your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to these types of questions;  he/she knows exactly what is planned, will know whether you are experiencing any complications, and is ultimately responsible for your care.

 Best wishes

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Travel after surgery

I think a big issue with travel after surgery is the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and possible subsequent pulmonary embolus (PE). Certainly long haul flights have a risk of DVT ("economy class syndrome") without surgery, and the risk is greatly increased if the two are combined. I am personally happy fo rmy patients to fly in the order of one hour after surgery, but instruct them to get an isle seat and get up and walk frequently. I would worry about a 4 hour car trip combined with a moderate risk operation such as abdominoplasty. I have had a patient who had a low risk liposuction procedure who ignored my advice and took a 5 hour car trip the day of his surgery and developed a DVT and PE.

I think if you did plan to drive 4hrs day 1 post abdominoplasty you would need to have good prophylaxsis including compression stockings and something like Clexane to thin the blood. As well you should stop every hour and walk.

Darrell Perkins, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Cosmetic Surgery is an Art and a Science

Having an overnight stay is very common. In my experience, this arrangement is very successful. Always discuss your post op care with your surgeon. In my experience, you would be able to go home in a car after the overnight stay. All the best

Thomas A. Narsete, MD
Greenwood Village Plastic Surgeon

Question Regarding Traveling After Surgery?

    In this situation, ask your surgeon as I could make a case for either scenario and can see how you would be more comfortable at home.  The problem with patients who do this is they are reluctant to come back if there is a problem or they wait too long.  If you are going to pursue this, your surgeon will probably recommend frequent stops with ambulation to reduce the risk of DVTs.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Stay Close to Your Surgeon

A Mommy Makeover is a big operation that requires monitoring post-operatively to prevent complications and optimize your result.  You should ambulate ASAP after the procedure and remain as active as possible so being in your own bed too much or anywhere else isn't a great idea.  I definitely think its safer if you stay near your surgeon for the first week, have your drain(s) removed and then go home with peace of mind...good luck!

Eric Sadeh, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Out of Town Surgery Care

I frequently perform procedures on patients from out of town.   It is most important to be safe and understand that there are risks with surgery that need to be closely monitored.   In addition,  the risk of blood clots is significant in early travel after surgery.

I would recommend staying some additional nights in the hospital or at a hotel nearby for the first 72 hours.   I would then visit with your surgeon and determine if it is safe to go home.    If you do travel.  I would recommend frequent leg movement and stopping the car to walk a few times on the way.


I wish you a safe and healthy recovery

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.