I want to fly to Florida from Chicago for a Tummy tuck, would I be able to fly home after doing that?

Doctor Answers 5

Traveling for Procedure

It is advised that you wait a couple weeks before flying back home. If all goes well, you probably can get on an airplane two weeks after the surgery.  After an extensive surgery such as a tummy tuck, there are often drains involved, which cannot be removed for several days after surgery. Also, it is best to be close to the surgeon who performed your procedure in case there are any post-operative questions.  Many patients do “fly-in” for their surgeries.  Just call and make sure that you have allowed for what the doctor recommends for his post-operative “stay-time”.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Travelling for surgery?

I wrote an answer on 5/19 for a patient who went to Florida, also from Chicago for a surgery. Now she is a girl in trouble and she is going to end up paying a lot more for having left the area. You might realize that you are taking a chance if you are not within travel distance from your surgeon, or have a local followup plan for after your surgery. Many problems after surgery don't show up for weeks. Beware of shopping for price, when quality pays for itself.

David Janssen, MD, FACS
Oshkosh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Traveling after surgery

Many of my patients travel from out of state to have surgery.  Normally I recommend my patients to stay in town for 2wks after a lipoabdominoplasty.  I recommend this amount of time so that I can monitor their recovery closely.  Also, there are usually drains involved with this type of surgery that take at least 5 days before being taken out and sutures are not removed until 12 days.  If a patient needs to return to home after a week then we make sure that a doctor in their area is willing to take over with the care of our patient.  I will also ask the patient to keep me informed on their recovery.

Daniel Diaco, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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I want to fly to Florida from Chicago for a Tummy tuck, would I be able to fly home after doing that?

I will answer your question with a question.  Why do you want to do that?

I guarantee you there are dozens of us board certified Plastic Surgeons in the Chicagoland area that can do the same tummy tuck as a surgeon in Florida.

I assume you will be traveling because you got an unbelievable deal?  I see patients like this all the time.  This is called "medical tourism" and can really be way more trouble than it is worth.  First, make sure your surgeon in Florida is a board certified Plastic Surgeon, not a "cosmetic surgeon" -- there is no true board certification in cosmetic surgery.  Second, realize that when you get home, you are on your own if a complication arises.  You will not find a Plastic Surgeon willing to simply assume your care for free.  If something does happen, you will be paying many thousands of dollars out of pocket to a Plastic Surgeon in Chicago.  And I guarantee your surgeon in Florida won't do a thing to help you.

Make an informed decision.  Major surgery close to home is highly recommended.  I wish you the best.

Travel After Abdominoplasty

Great question.

For patients that fly in for surgery at our practice, we typically want them to stay in our area for about a week.  After that, they are typically cleared to fly home.  It's important to continue your activity restrictions (no heavy lifting), and to walk frequently and do leg exercises while on the plane to prevent DVT's.  Having said that, your surgeon may have different thoughts on travel after surgery, so I would check with them for their recommendations.

Also important when traveling for surgery is to have a plan if you have a potential complication when you get back home.  Not having this plan ahead of time can completely negate whatever cost savings you think you're getting to travel somewhere else, and may actually end up being far more expensive in the end.  Ask your surgeon to set you up with a colleague in Chicago, or find one on your own ahead of time.  

Of course, finding a local plastic surgeon who can deliver the results you desire is usually ideal.  Many surgeons do abdominoplasties very well.  Best of luck!

Dr. Dan Krochmal

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.