Bad Idea to Plan a Tummy Tuck Two Weeks Before Leaving the Country?

I would like to get a tummy tuck and lipo of the torso and chin (36 years old, no children), but will be traveling quite a bit over the next two years. I had lipo before and went to work after three days. I was uncomfortable but not miserable. However, I am wondering if there is much follow up after the two week period. Is this a realistic time frame? If not, what is? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 31

Tt recovery

most people go back to work (if it does not involve heavy lifting) by 2 wks so  i am not sure i totally agree with the other answer that it is a bad idea.  i think the answer needs to be customized to the patient.  for example, if there is a lot of excess skin and the closure will be less tight, i would be more apt to say it is ok.  the reason for this is that with a less tight abd closure you will regain a more normal standing posture early and will be more comfortable getting around at 2 wks. one real issue is dvt prevention, given that you will have had recent surgery and will be on a presumed long airflight.  if you were a patient of mine i might consider putting you on lovenox after the surgery an throughout the flight.  we live in a world where people travel for both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery - with proper consideration and precaustions i think it can be done safely.  with that said please dont take what i said as direct medical advice.  again i think everything needs to be customized - talk it over with your md.

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Bad idea

Traveling anywhere two weeks after a maor surgery is a bad idea. Liposuction is not the same as an abdominoplasty.

Bleeding , infection, deep vein thrombosis are all posible to say the least.

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Travel plans 2 weeks after tummy tuck?

Your plan sounds like a recipe for problems.  If you are planning lots of airline travel only 2 weeks after your tummy tuck, you may be at increased risk for delayed healing, a seroma (fluid collection), or worse a blood clot.  A tummy tuck is a much more involved procedure than just liposuction. My advice - step back, visit with a board certified PS in your area, and schedule your procedure when you have adequate time to recover and heal.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 212 reviews

Bad Idea to Plan a Tummy Tuck Two Weeks Before Leaving the Country?

In agreement with other responders, you should absolutely NOT travel after tummy tuck, for at least, in my opinion, 6-8 weeks.  Healing after abdominoplasty occurs at multiple levels:  Your abdominal wall (deep connective tissue), subcutaneous layer (superficial connective tissue), and your skin.  Lymphatics are disrupted, blood supply to abdominal skin is changed, there is a transient elevation of deep venous pressure, and healing from these interventions takes many months.  Revisions, even in the best hands, are not uncommon.  Narcotic related adverse effects, resuming normal activity, and any unpredicted problem may resolve and/or progress only with close attention.  Sometimes, more rest than anticipated is necessary.  BE SAFE.  Complications are much more easily prevented than managed afterward.  Travel is demanding, and you should be in good physical shape before doing so.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Travel after Tummy Tuck

Hi Naomi,

The tummy tuck procedure should always be considered major sugery even though it is often a cosmetic, outpatient procedure. There are several reasons I would not advise significant travel activities at just 2 weeks post-op TT:

  • Increased risk of blood clots in legs (DVT) after TT surgery, especially with knees in bent position during prolonged driving and flying.
  • Complications such as bleeding, infection, seroma, and delayed wound healing are still possible with excessive activity, even two weeks after surgery.

I would advise at least 4-6 weeks of healing before going too far from your PS.

Thanks for your question and best of luck!

Stephen M. Lazarus, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Need more than 2 weeks of recovery time after abdominoplasty

I think you answered your own question, not a good idea.  There is significant recovery time needed following an abdominoplasty and even under the best of circumstances it is unlikely that you would feel well enough to travel extensively.   If you even have a minor complication such as a seroma you may find it difficult to have it adequately treated in another country by a surgeon unfamiliar with your medical condition.  Also you be placing yourself at an increased risk of developing a DVT or PE even though the greatest risk is from day 3 to 7.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Bad idea indeed

You should allow at least 4-6 weeks after a tummy tuck before planning extensive travel.

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

Bad Idea to Plan a Tummy Tuck Two Weeks Before Leaving the Country?

Really Bad Idea!  I personally would advise any of my patients that I would not be willing to perform that operation on a patient with your travel plans. I find most patients are not really back to normal and completely comfortable activity for 4-8 weeks. A TT is not in the same ballpark as liposuction.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Better to avoid such travel so soon after tummytuck

2 weeks is pushing it a bit after abdominoplasty. suggest you wait at least 3-4 weeks if at all possible. can't return to full activities before 6 weeks usually.

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Tummy Tuck And Leaving the Country 2 Weeks Later?

Thank you for the question.

 Yes, I think it would be unwise to have a tummy tuck operation and travel out of the country 2 weeks later. In my practice, I would advise you to wait at least one month before doing so. Remember, that the tummy tuck operation is a much more involved and complication prone operation, in my opinion, compared to liposuction surgery.

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,500 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.