Flying Soon After Tummy Tuck & Lipo?

I'm flying to Cancun from Canada to have a tummy tuck and lypo on my thighs on June 1st. I'm flying home on June 9th. Is this safe? Is there an increased risk of clots developing if I fly as planned on these dates? Any advice welcome.

Doctor Answers 13

Air Travel

  1. The chief concern of air travel following operative procedures is the increased risk of deep venous thrombosis in the lower legs, which can potentially result in pulmonary embolism.  Abdominoplasty is an operation of greater magnitude than liposuction.  I would think a patient that had liposuction of her waist and torso, could probably fly 2 weeks after surgery without a great deal of concern.  Liposuction of the lower legs would probably require a four week wait.  After a tummy tuck, I think probably a minimum of 4 weeks would be a reasonable time, and of course patients in air travel would need to wear compressive antiembolism stockings on the lower extremities and get up and move around the cabin. 


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Blood Clots

Thank you for the question.


Tummy tuck and liposuction are known combination to increase the likelihood of blood clots. I would recommend to separate the 2 procedures. If however, you are determined to do it that way, be sure during the flight,  to drink lots of fluids , walk frequently and move your feet while sitting. That will reduce the risk, but there is no guarantee. Good luck.

Dr. Widder

Shlomo Widder, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Flying Soon After Tummy Tuck & Lipo?

I get calls several times a year, as do all my friends, from some patient unknown to me who had surgery overseas and now has a major complication and they want the complication cared for. This varies from hematomas to seromas, dead skin, dead belly button, chronic pain, bad scars, and the frequent one which is infection. The answer almost all of us give is "No".  A significant part of a surgery fee is for knowing how to avoid complications, knowing how to care for ones that occur, and for being available for any and all followup and care that is necessary. If you have any complication or even questions that require an exam, be prepared for multiple further flights back and forth to Cancun. You have hundreds of excellent, skilled and caring doctors in Canada. You would be wise to use one of them.

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

Tummy tuck

I don't think 8 days is nearly enough for recovery froma tummy tuck in another country.  Even if all goes well, you're cutting it too close.  Also, the risk of clots on the airplane from immobility for several hours is real and can be quite serious.  I would not recommend it.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Flying soon after tummy tuck

All reviewers are in agreement. Flying soon after abdominoplasty and thigh liposuction will increase your risks of complications. There are some good surgeons and facilities, however if you opt for traveling to a foreign country for your procedure you must stay long enough for adequate healing. Even without having surgery, a long flight can increase the risk of blood clots in the legs. After a surgery such as this risks would be high for this potentially fatal complication. Traveling soon after surgery increases your risk also of infection, bleeding and seroma

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Flying 8 days after tummy tuck can be risky.


An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a big procedure that warrants proper planning to allow enough time for your body to heal and to deal with any potential issues, concerns, or complications that may arise.

I would encourage you to put safety and satisfaction above the possibility of saving money by traveling to Mexico for your procedure.  Even the smallest of healing issues can make this gamble not.  

All the best,

Remus Repta, MD

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Flying 8 days after surgery in foreign country.

There are two issues in your scenario. The first is flying eight days after a tummy tuck and thigh liposuction. This is a set up for DVTs and other complications and is not recommended. The second, more concerning issue is Medical Tourism or having your surgery in a foreign country. You are risking your life and serious health problems that are not worth the risk. It would be a better choice to save your travel money and find a reputable plastic surgeon in your area to perform your procedure. Please reconsider and discuss with your family and medical professionals.

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Not Wise...

I hope that you are aware that the tummy tuck operation is a major operation associated with significant risks/potential  complications, even in the best of  hands and under the best of circumstances. You are taking significant risk with your health, body, and outcome of surgery  presumably for cost savings.

Best wishes.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Flying after a tummy tuck

I think you should think twice about having a tummy tuck in a foreign country and then traveling a few days later.  It is not a good idea. If you are considering doing this anyway, you may want to stay about two weeks minimum.  Problems can still happen afterward, but less likely.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Flying 8 days after tummy tuck

Eight days after abdominoplasty with thigh liposuction is too soon to be leaving for home, not just in terms of increased risk for embolism but also because it is insufficient time for recuperation. Complications, including seroma, hematoma and infection can develop and you sholuld not be on a plane or rushing home. I would truly worry about undergoing surgery at the hands of a surgeon who knows that this is your intent and sees nothing problematic with it. Part of surgical skill is recognizing potential complications and being available to deal with them. Medical tourism may be less expensive than undergoing surgery at home, but not if you have a complication and need to be treated for it.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.