Flying After Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation?

I'm an American who moved to Australia and I had my Breast augmentation done in the states 2 years ago. I am thinking about using my 6 week leave to have a Tummy Tuck and breasts redone back in the USA. Flying time is more than 24 hours each way. Would it be safe to fly that far 4-6 weeks after surgery? If not, how soon can I fly after the procedures? I have tried to find a doctor locally and I just can't seem to find one up to par as the one I had back in the states. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 16

Flying after surgery

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You are planning to stay in the US for 4-6 weeks after your breast and tummy surgeries.  That's a good idea.  By week 4 or 5, you will be almost fully healed.  For out of town patients undergoing a combined breast and tummy surgery, I generally do not recommend a long flight for 2 weeks.  Prolonged sitting can increased your risk of a blood clot, aka DVT.

Flying Following Mommy Makeover

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Travel of any type following cosmetic surgery can potentially complicate the postoperative course. In most cases, patients have recovered sufficiently to travel in about two weeks following surgery.

Air travel often involves prolonged periods of immobilization and because of this, patients may be at risk for the development of blood clots in their extremities. These blood clots known as DVT’s can potentially represent a life threatening phenomenon when they occur.

There are several risk factors associated with the development of DVT’s. These include the length of the surgical procedure, use of hormonal replacements or birth control pills, cigarette smoking, obesity, a history of cancer, family history of hypercoagubability, advanced age, and a previous history of blood clots.

When travel is necessary following cosmetic surgery, every step should be taken to avoid this potential complication. Patients should use anti embolic compression stockings, maintain hydration, and ambulate frequently when traveling. In patients who have multiple risk factors, anticoagulants such as Lovenox may be necessary.

If you have plans to travel in the immediate postoperative period, make sure you discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. It’s important to remember that every patient’s situation is unique. For this reason, treatment needs to be individualized for every patient.

Flying after Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation

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After a Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation, you could fly 4 - 6 weeks after surgery but you need to make sure you have a thorough checkup a day or 2 before departure to make sure that everything is healing accordingly. If the doctor gives you the OK, there should be no problem. Just make sure you follow all the post surgery instructions. My patients are normally coming from Canada and the US with average flights of 5 - 6 hours and can fly home 10 days after surgery.

Alfonso Gonzalez Cepeda, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

Flying before and after major surgery

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I have patients fly in from out of town or other countries for major surgery. My rule is that they have to be in the area for 3 days prior to surgery. Aftyer surgery they can fly at 3-4 weeks. Although the risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolism (which can be fatal in 10%) drops off significantly at 10 days to two weeks after surgery, a long flight still puts you at risk. You should wear some sort of compression stocking and also need to get up and out of your seat every 30min-1 hour and walk up and down the isle. Do not cross your legs and every few minutes "pump the gas pedal" with your feet. I like to follow my patients from out of town at least for 3-4 weeks if possible.

Flying after Breast Augmentation and Tummy Tuck

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You should have no problem at all flying after the breast augmentation and tummy tuck but with certain precautions.

This assumes that you have an uneventful post-operative course without complications. Any complications would set this back depending on what needs to be addressed.

Also, you probably at this point will not be able to lift more than about 20 pounds so be careful with your luggage and have someone move it for you. Good Luck.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Flying after tummy tuck and breast augmentation?

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Hello! Thank you for your question. Our practice has patients travel from afar. Opinions on travel following a surgical procedure will differ amongst surgeons, and is best to discuss this with your surgeon. In our practice, we ask that you plan to stay for several days to weeks to observe and evaluate the surgical areas as well as your readiness for travel. Depending on which procedure you have, up to a few weeks or so may be necessary. For your procedure and travel, this time frame should be reasonable.

Ensuring adequate oral intake and mobility is a must and proper postoperative care of the surgical sites and incisions is prudent. An evaluation postoperatively as well as prior to departure is usually done to make sure that all is well for your travel back. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Long Flight Risks after surgery

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The main risk (also one for passengers without surgery) will be the possibility of developing a clot in one of your deep leg veins, DVT, that could travel to your lungs (Pulmonary Embolism). Venous blood clot risk factors include sitting for prolonged times (for example prolonged plane  flights or road trips) obesity, oral contraceptive use, sedentary lifestyle, familial clotting disorders.  to minimize this from happening to you, I would keep hydrated, wear TED stockings, walk around often and frequently, keep your legs elevated if possible and mover your legs, ankles and feet often while sitting.

Flying after procedures

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Thank you for your question.

Four to six weeks is usually enough time to fly providing that you have no complications with surgery. However, a flight that long could potentially cause some problems such as blood clots in the legs and that is why you will not find anyone to go on record as telling you that it will be safe! You will want to be sure to wear some sort of compression garment, do leg/calf exercises every hour and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated to try and prevent blood clots.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

4-6 weeks after surgery is generally a resonable time

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Allowing 4-6 weeks to elapse should be a sufficient amount of time following major surgery barrring any complications.

This should allow adequate time to assess and treat any conventional post operative conditions.


Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy tuck and redo breast augmentation and travel

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There is a slight risk of developing clots in the legs after prolonged flights. The question of when can you fly always comes up. I prefer patients to stay in town about 10 days to 2 weeks after surgery. If they have to fly home, I recommend staying well hydrated, ambulating often on the plane, and pumping the calf muscles frequently to encourage circulation.

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