When is it safe to fly (8 hrs) after liposuction?

I am flying from boston, MA to san diego, CA to get liposuction on my chin, arms, & inner/outer thighs. When will it be safe to fly back (8hr flight) after surgery (want to fly back as soon as its safe to return home for recovery.) When will it be safe to undertake this trip, and is there any advice for traveling after surgery? Thank you in adv.

Doctor Answers 10

Flying after liposuction

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Thank you for your question about liposuction.

Your surgeon is the one to advise you - s/he knows what is being done.
If you have no health issues, are a normal weight, don't smoke and are fully mobile after surgery, I might let you travel within a day or two if you had custom-Jobst support stockings and an aisle seat so you could get up and walk every hour or two.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope this information is helpful. Best wishes!

No reason not to travel the day after liposuction.

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I personally would not have a problem with you traveling even the day after liposuction. However your situation will be unique and this is something that you should discuss with your own surgeon.

DVT, air travel, and liposuction

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The risk of developing a clot in the legs (DVT) is high enough when you are traveling on an airplane having NOT had surgery, that there are instructions on what exercises to do to lower your risk in the seat back in front of you.  Your risk of developing a DVT is higher after liposuction, particularly of the thighs.  If you then add the possibility that the compression garment is binding in your groin while you are seated, the risk of flying long distances after liposuction is high enough that you should consider these factors very carefully.  I do not recommend that my patients fly for at least two weeks after liposuction.  


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An eight-hour flight is considered a long distance flight in terms of DVT risk. Reaseach has found long distance flights (eight hours or longer) double the normal chance (1/1000 per year) of developing a DVT.  

I don't believe anyone can tell you the exact risk of getting a DVT from flying after lipo.  

If you have to fly during your recovery period, I would ask your surgeon about leg exercises and getting up to walk a little during your flight. Try to get an aisle seat (easier to get up and stretch). You may want to ask your doctor about taking baby aspirin after surgery as well.

Many people travel to have plastic surgery in different parts of the country for different reasons. While not ideal, it is not uncommon.

I hope that helps.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Flying post liposuction

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That is a question best answered by your operating surgeon. For my patients, I usually want them to stay in town for about a week minimum for most procedures. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

When fly post-op

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PErsonally, I would not fly for several weeks post-op.  You would be much better served by having the procedure performed within driving distance of your home.  Best of luck.


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Air travel after liposuction

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Given that you live in Boston, which has countless board certified plastic surgeons, it begs the question of why you are traveling across the country to undergo liposuction.  You would be at risk for a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and should not fly for a minimum of two weeks. I agree with Dr. Savage that, at eight hours away from your plastic surgeon, I cannot imagine how you plan for follow up or treatment of any unexpected complications. 

Flying and surgery

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Simple answer is check with your treating physicians.Having surgery far from home has several issues,long flights increase DVT and PE risk which can be life threatening.Also don't want to be stuck on a plane if any risk of oozing or bleeding.Finally once home if you have a problem,complication or Unexpected result it can be hard to get another doc to enthusiastically pick up your care if they did not treat you

Robert Savage, MD (retired)
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon

When is it safe to fly (8 hrs) after liposuction?

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Thank for your question!
I would recommend you to stay at home (or in a recovery house if you decide to take the trip) for some weeks after the procedure. There is a risk of developing a DVT. Discuss that with your plastic surgeon.
Have a nice day!

Yily De Los Santos, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 1,741 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.