Waiting Time to Pilot Plane After Liposuction?

I'm hoping to have lower eyes and lower face and body liposuction. I'm assuming that this will require general anesthesia because of so many surgeries. I am 37 years, female. Through this site I'm understanding two weeks before exercise, which flying sometimes seems to be, but what about mentally? How long should I wait after that before flying a small plane, not high, only about 2000 ft? Thank you

Doctor Answers 8

You can fly a plane after liposuction as soon as you are off pain meds and can execute as a pilot

Flying a plane, like driving, requires a set of physical skills that might be temporarily compromised after liposuction. However, as soon as you can execute those skills (and have no pain medication in your system), you can resume piloting a plane. I am a pilot and I would think this circumstance would be achieved within a week.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Flying a plane after liposuction

You really should be pain free and absolutely medicine free before even contemplating getting into the cockpit. For  most patients this is a minimum of two weeks. Certainly there are exceptions in either direction with some returning sooner and others later.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Piloting plane after Liposuction depends on how things are done

One my patients flys an A340 and she was back in her Captains seat 4 days after body liposuction. However, she was in exceptional physical shape and I performed her liposuciton under tumenscent liposuction. This minimized unnecessary trauma. When you have liposuction under general anesthesia, your surgeon will rough you up simply because they will make every effort to complete the liposuction as quickly as possible. The unnecessary trauma will mean weeks of extra recover.

Regarding eyelid surgery, I will flat out tell you that having eyelid surgery under general anesthesia is a suboptimal means of performing eyelid surgery. When you are awake and cooperative with the surgeon, the effects of surgery can be monitored during surgery allowing for far more accurate results than can be achieved if you are asleep under general anesthesia.

Faces can be done under local anesthesia as well. However, if you are 37 years old, I have to question if you really are ready to have a facelift.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Take a month off after facelift and liposuction.


You could probably get away with flying sooner, bot why take a chance?  After facelift, blepharoplasty, and liposuction, wait at least a month before you start piloting a plane.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Flying and surgery

For any surgery, the full recovery requires about 4-6 weeks.

This time is required provided no complications. You should have no pain, and is requiring no pain medications.

You also need all your mental capabilities amd reflexes.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Waiting time to pilot plane after Liposuction

Very interesting question! I'm assuming you mean liposuction of the lower face with the body, not a lower facelift. If I assume correctly than this is my opinion. As for the lower lids, if you have a transconjunctival blepharoplasty the wait time for a NON pilot is a few days to a week. This also would apply to the Smart Lipo of the lower face and trunk. But since you state you are the pilot, I agree with both, Drs. Aldea & Rand, the 'no fly zone is 6 weeks. (I like the phase 'No Fly Zone' LOL). Also as stated an additional licensed pilot should accompany you on the first time back. Regards and 'ignition on.'

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Flying after liposuction

I would agree completely that a 6 week "no fly zone" be self-imposed around you after liposuction.  There is no data to back this up, it just feels logical and safe. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Waiting time to pilot plane after facelift, Lower Blepharoplasties and Liposuction?

Frankly, I do not think it would matter if you flew at 2,000 or 35,000 feet altitude. As a pilot you need full control of your faculties and reflexes. It goes without saying that you should not drive, much less pilot a plane, while taking pain pills or being unable to freely turn a wheal. Personally, I think you should wait at least 4-6 weeks before flying and I would encourage you to fly with another pilot, just in case.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 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.