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 Following Mommy Makeover

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

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
4.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Flying after surgery

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.

4-6 weeks after surgery is generally a resonable time

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 76 reviews

Flying after Breast Augmentation and Tummy Tuck

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
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Long Flight Risks after surgery

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


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
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Tummy tuck and redo breast augmentation and travel

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
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Flying after surgery

The incidence of developing a symptomatic blood clot (pulmonary embolism) in a prolonged plane flight is about 5 in a million, more in patients with risk factors such as obesity, oral contraceptives, sedentary lifestyle, familial clotting disorders, etc., less in patients with no risk factors.

All surgeries carry risks.

There are several prophylactic measures against blood clots that can be taken before, during and after surgery that can minimize the risk.

Every tertiary referral center or private practice where many or most of the patients come from out of town has patients fly in shortly before surgery for their procedures and leave to go back home shortly after the initial recovery period.

We allow patients who have an uncomplicated history and uneventful surgery to fly 10 days after abdominoplasty, with those precautionary measures in place.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 153 reviews

Fly after surgery

Perth gurl,

Four to six weeks following tummy tuck and breast implant replacement is a reasonably safety window. Of course, your surgeon will want to see you even beyond this short post operative window. If possible, leave the return open ended just in case you have some complication (infection, fluid or seroma collection) that needs treatment. Good luck!

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.