How can I fly with swelling after Liposuction?

Doctor Answers 7

Check with your physician to see when you can fly.

Because this is dependent on so many factors, it is best to check with your physician as to how soon after surgery you are able to fly.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Flying after surgery

Your surgeon will help you determine the correct amount of time to wait before flying after a liposuction procedure.  The answer will depend upon how much suctioning was done and your general health before surgery.  When flying be sure to wear your compression garment and move around when safe to do so.  Rotate your ankles while seated.  Your doctor may also recommend taking an aspirin before the flight.  Good luck.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Flying On Plane After Liposuction

I have all my patients take aspirin and use compression stockings when they travel after liposuciton.  If there is no drainage and the healing is progressing properly, my patients leave to go home 1-2 days after their surgery.  I often give diuretics and suggest Arnika Forte post treatment to decrease swelling more quickly. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

The ability to fly

The main concern with flying immediately after liposuction is the risk of developing a blood clot.

Blood clots that form in the deep veins in the legs or pelvis, which are called deep venous thrombosis or DVT, can potentially be life-threatening.

There are various risk factors for developing DVTs.

One of those is surgery, and another one is a long airplane flight.

The overall risk from liposuction is quite low.

The use of general anesthesia is an additional risk factor.

While flying on airplanes is generally very safe, it is also an additional risk factor for developing blood clots.

The risk of developing blood clots from flying is typically only significant on flights longer than six hours.

There is evidence that passengers who sit in the aisle seats have a lower risk of developing blood clots than those who sit in the window seats.

This is presumably because patients in the window seats are less likely to get up and stretch or walk during the flight. Even though there is a potential of three separate risk factors for developing DVTs, the real risk for developing a blood clot when flying soon after liposuction is still low.

Another thing to take into consideration is the ability to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

This is, of course, very important if complications develop but also important when there are issues with results.

I would recommend you ask your surgeon to see what his or her thoughts are on the subject.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Flying after liposuction

I assume your question is if it's okay to fly after liposuction. For our out-of-town patients, we usually recommend staying in one of our recovery suites for as long as needed before flying/driving a long distance. Every plastic surgeon has different instructions, so you can ask your surgeon.

German Newall, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Patients can fly immediately after liposuction.

Swelling might be temporarily modestly aggravated by a long airline flight but there's no contraindication to doing so.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

No flying restrictions for my patients at least

Hello! Thanks for your question.

I'm guessing your question exactly is - can you fly after liposuction?

If that's the question, then the answer is yes, of course you can. I have no restrictions on flying after liposuction for my patients, with the only exception to that being that I wouldn't want my patient to leave on a week vacation the day after liposuction in the very rare event that they had a complication and I wouldn't be able to evaluate them. Also, you wouldn't really feel like traveling right after liposuction anyway. I believe the recovery from liposuction to not be overly difficult, but you're still going to be quite sore right after surgery and traveling very soon would be quite uncomfortable.

If you were my patient and you asked when you could leave for a trip after having liposuction done, I would tell you that if you were doing fine after a couple weeks, then you would have my blessing to go on a trip as long as you could continue to wear the compression garments as directed. The only exception to this would be if you were going on a flight to the other side of the world where the flight time was extremely long. I like my patients to be active and walk around after surgery to prevent blood clots from forming. If you were going to go on a very long flight soon after surgery, I would insist that you got up and walked the aisle every hour or so to avoid this problem.

Hope this helps.

B Hermann MD

Bruce Hermann, MD
Denton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.