Is it safe to travel by car for 3/4 hours after tummy tuck?

I will be travelling by car to and from the hospital following my tummy tuck. The journey is 3 maybe 4 hours. Is this reasonable after a tummy tuck? Will I be okay to travel that long after my tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 10

Traveling After Surgery

It would not be wise to sit in one position and travel that long following surgery, especially a tummy tuck. Even though you’re not the one driving, it’s unsafe to be that far from your surgeon. More importantly, sitting in a car for that long can also put you at risk for complications such as clotting. Please consult with your surgeon and consider staying overnight at the facility or getting a hotel room near the facility.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you will be healing following surgery.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Traveling after a tummy tuck

Please speak to your surgeon about your travel arrangements, I recommend my patients stay over night in a care facility or a near by hotel with family for a least the first night after surgery.  There are too many complications that could result from this.

Best of luck to you

N. Bill Aydin, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Travel by car after tummy tuck

Thanks for your inquiry, if you were my patient I would not want you to do that.  Please make sure your surgeon is aware of your plan, good luck.  

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Is it safe to travel by car for 3/4 hours after tummy tuck?

Thanks for the question, it is an important one. I;m afraid my answer would have to be "No, don't do it". I personally will not do a Tummy Tuck on a patient unless they are staying within 30-6- minutes of our facility for several days. Your surgeon should have already filled you in on all the risks, both minor and major, for this procedure and the immediate postop period.

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

Traveling immediately after major surgery

Thank you for that question as it comes up often as patients look and travel farther to get their surgery. Also my general rule is that if you ask 2 doctors, you get 3 opinions so keep that in mind. I personally do not let my patients stay the first night any further than 30 minutes from my office. I don't have an overnight facility but we have a reasonably priced hotel 5 minutes away and they give us a special price. Although I respect my colleagues input, there is a very good reason for this. Although it is rare, if a patient developes bleeding, do you really want to be that far away from help? In the circumstance of a tummy tuck bleeding can potentially be very large very quick. Again it is rare and I don't want to alarm you necessarily. But even if a complication is 1 in 10,000, if it is you, it is 100% for you. Long distance traveling after major surgery is almost always a bad idea because there are so many things that can go wrong and you would be forced to seek help from another source than the person who did your surgery. If you are going to invest thousands of dollars to find the right surgeon, make a minimal investment and stay close to them until you are really ready to travel.

Donald W. Hause, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Is it safe to travel by car for 3/4 hours after tummy tuck?

It is okay to travel 3-4 hours after coming Tuck if someone is driving you.  You may not drive a car after general anesthesia, it is a state law and most states.  Please be sure to have someone drive you to and home from your surgery.

Is it safe to travel by car for 3/4 hours after tummy tuck?

Most experienced plastic surgeons would tell you that traveling 3-4 hours in a car immediately following a tummy tuck is not a good idea because of the increased risk of developing DVT, clots in the legs, which can be life threatening.

Robert Singer. MD  FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Travel after tummy tuck

Although you could stop every hour to walk around to reduce the risk of DVT, making travel possible, is it a great idea? No. you will be in pain and I do not recommend this. It would be far better for you to remain near your plastic surgeon in the event of any issues or complications.

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

Car travel after tummy tuck

Being stuck in one position for hours at a time after any surgery, but especially tummy tuck surgery is not a good idea. It can increase your risk of DVT, i.e. blood clots. Consider staying overnight in a motel / hotel the night of surgery. But even the next day you should get out of the car and walk about a short time every hour or so. Be careful.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 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.