Questions about out of town procedures

Have been searching out of town, really out of the country. American surgeons seem so much cheaper then here in Canada. I just wonder how the days before or even after will work out? Can I leave the day of surgery? Day after? Do I need to come back in a week or two to get stitches out? Or can I get my family doctor to do it? The closest doc I found whom I'm considering is 3.5 hours away and across the line. Not a bad drive

Doctor Answers 8

Out of town patients

This is a very common situation seen with plastic surgery patients. Traveling for your breast augmentation or any other procedure for that matter can be a very good idea if you cannot find a surgeon you like or want to have operate on you near where you live. As for leaving the day of surgery, not likely ANY plastic surgeon in the US will be ok with this. The day after surgery, is POSSIBLE depending on the procedure and how the surgery went. Stitches can be of the dissolving type and usually are not a problem. Follow-up care after the procedure is usually a concern IF there is a problem/complication after you leave town. Some things to think about when choosing your surgeon and location to have your surgery performed. good luck

Out of town procedures

Traveling after surgery can be done within reason, but there are a few things to consider before making this choice.  It is important the surgeon knows how far you live and that the two of you discuss a plan in case something unexpected happens.  If your surgeon has a colleague near your hometown that he/she trusts with your follow up care you should arrange that beforehand.  Some physicians would prefer that you see only your surgeon for all follow up care and are not available to see you if a complication arises.  It's just easier if there is a backup plan in place.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast augmentation out of town

That is a great question.  We have seen many patients from a distance who come to Boston for their breast augmentation.  We would typically see you for a visit a month or more before surgery to discuss your case and perform a sizing appointment.  Patients typically stay locally in a hotel the night before surgery.  Surgery is performed as an outpatient at our local hospital-you are released an hour or so after surgery but need to be with a responsible adult.  You would stay overnight again at a local hotel and we would check you in the office the next day.  If all is well you could typically return home and plan to come back to see us around 6 weeks after surgery.  The sutures dissolve on their own, but there are sometimes knots or small parts of the suture that gets exposed and needs to be removed at the 6 week mark.  As in every case it is important to limit your lifting and activity for 6 weeks after surgery- the majority of problems that occur more than 24 hours after breast augmentation occur from a patient doing too much in the first 6 weeks.  Most hematomas (bleeding after surgery) which are relatively rare but require a trip back to the operating room will occur the night of surgery but I have had  3 patients who strained 9-10 days after surgery ( one lifting a 15 lb baby) who developed a "late" hematoma and needed to return to the OR. So if you can follow the rules and "rest your breasts" after surgery for 6 weeks you should do fine. I would of course recommend that you see a board certified plastic surgeon, wherever you decide to go.

Jonathan Hall, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews


Hello, every surgeon is different regarding post operative care. Travel 3.5 hours away is certainly doable after an augmentation. I would seek out a board certified plastic surgeon who can discuss your options and plan...even if you have to travel a bit further. Good Luck. 

Paul W. Papillion, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Traveling for Cosmetic Surgery

Thank you for your questions. It would help if you described the type of surgery you want to have. As a general rule in my practice the patient is seen at least the day prior to surgery, has the operation the next day and is checked the day after surgery to determine if the patient can return home. This requires a lot of communication, photographs, etc well prior to the anticipated operation day. I avoid using sutures that require removal. If you have drains then arrangements can be made to have your local doctor remove them if he/ she is informed of the need before surgery takes place. There is always the possibility of problems that require a longer stay or a return for additional care. This occurs rarely but means additional out of pocket expenses for lodging, airline tickets, etc. that the traveling patient will have to pay. 

David S. Motoki, MD
Draper Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Questions about out of town procedures

Thank you for your question. The details of how you work out the post-op course should be between you and your surgeon. I would discuss that with them before surgery and be honest with them about your travel plans. That being said, I strongly encourage people to think twice about medical tourism. There are plenty of surgeons very near you who can provide great outcomes. The slight additional cost will all seem worth it if you are unlucky enough to have a problem that needs close attention or frequent visits. Just make sure you are making the safe choice above all else.Best of luck!

Dallas Buchanan, MD
Spokane Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Out of Town Aesthetic Surgery

Hi and thank you for your question.  Each surgeon differs in their pre and post-operative instructions, but in general you can go home the day of surgery and follow-up within 1-2 weeks.  Most sutures placed during surgery are absorbable, unless your surgeon uses drains.  The use of drains may necessitate more visits postoperatively, but otherwise you will need only one to two.  Good luck!

Ryan Marshall, DO
Missoula Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast augmentation

Thank you for your question.The person you really need to be asking this to is the surgeon you are interested in scheduling with. Every doctor has different pre and post-operative protocols for their patients. I would make sure to find out if you have to arrange housing accommodations for your stay while you are there or if they handle that, if they provide a sitter or you need to bring someone with you to supervise you the first 24 hours and help assist you while you recover. I would discuss the duration he/she expects you to stay in the area post operatively and come up with a plan for your aftercare once you do return home. Most surgeons will want to see you for follow up appointments to see your progress and that you are healing well but it is possible to find a doctor in your area for aftercare, you may have to pay for their services though.
Best of luck!
Sincerely, James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 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.