I Will Be Having my Mommy Makeover Done on March 12th Will I Be Able to Take a 4 Hour Car Trip After 17 Days?

I will be having a full tummy tuck, breast lift with aug, and lipo of the flanks. I really want to make it to my daughter's sport competition which is a 4 hour drive. I would be sitting in a chair for 4 hours during the competition. It will take place about 17 days post-op. Will my body be able to handle this?

Doctor Answers 17

Risk of Blood Clot....

                It’s always best to avoid long road trips in the immediate post-operative period following mommy makeover surgery.  After a procedure of this magnitude sitting in a car seat can be extremely uncomfortable.  Furthermore prolonged immobilization can lead to an increased potential for lower extremity blood clots and pulmonary emboli.

                For these reasons we generally recommend avoiding these types of activities.  Unfortunately, life situations sometimes make travel unavoidable.  Under these circumstances, it’s important to stop frequently and ambulate.  It’s also extremely important to maintain good hydration while traveling. 

                After three weeks wound healing should be sufficient to allow travel, even though drains may still be in place.

                It’s important to thoroughly discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon before proceeding with a road trip.  Your surgeon should be able to give you important input on this type of endeavor.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Mommy Makeover Recovery

A mommy makeover is a great surgery to address numerous areas that are affected by pregnancy at the same time, but understand that it’s a big surgery and the recuperation takes longer than it would for a single surgery at a time.It will probably be 4-6 weeks before you feel like you are mostly back to normal and able to resume exercise or strenuous exertion.The biggest worry with traveling after surgery is the possibility of a blood clot.(A blood clot could actually kill you!)Prolonged immobilization is a major factor causing blood clots and car trips or confined sitting are a set-up for this.I would think that at 17 days out from surgery you could probably go to the competition safely, but be sure to take precautions to decrease the risk.

Do not do it all in one day! Drive out the day before and break up the trip by getting out to walk around the car at least a couple of times during the ride.
During the competition wear your TED hose or compressive stockings.
While sitting/watching the competition move your feet and ankles around a lot if you cannot stand up and walk.
If possible, wait until the next day to drive home and break the trip up again for short walks.

Do these things and you can enjoy the competition, but still stay safe and not jeopardize your results or health!

Marie E. Montag, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Drive after surgery

Your surgeon is the best person to respond to this question.

If you have a normal recovery and are healing well, then this should be possible. However, I still recommend that you take frequent breaks during the drive so you can stretch your legs, and stand up and walk around a bit when you're watching your daughter's competition.

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

When is it safe to travel following Mommy Makeover

The short answer is yes if the following applies: Your postoperative recovery was uneventful , your drains have been removed, don't have a tendency to form clots and you are  without complications then you should be able to travel safely. There is some risk however and as long as you understand this risk (informed consent) and take some preventative actions a road trip would probably be fine in most cases. Here is what I would suggest - in all cases follow the instructions and guidance of your plastic surgeon. He/She knows you the best. Have a plan in place if there is a problem - does he know someone in the area you will be staying if a problem, would you be able to and willing to return if a problem (unlikely but still worth planning for).

The  biggest  risk of a long road trip primarily relates to getting a clot in your legs (deep venous thrombosis)  which could travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolus). To minimize this from happening, wear your anti-embolism stockings "TED's) - if you don't have any buy some, stop frequently - every hour or so, get out walk around for a few minutes, while sitting move your ankles and legs - do circles, up and down movements and elevate them if possible, drink lots of fluids and take plenty of "pit stops".  I personally take a  baby aspirin before long overseas trips or road trips requiring sitting for long periods of time and encourage you to do the same if not contraindicated, however this is controversial in the literature if it works.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Car ride after mommy makeover

you should be OK with the 4 hour car ride 17 days after your surgery.  I would recommend some breaks during your trip to do some walking.   Get that blood circulating to prevent any blood clots.   But please check with your PS and get their thoughts.

All my mommy makeover patients are ambulating a few hours after surgery (of course walking flexed at their waist given the tummy tuck).   Most surgeons will likely recommend no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 5-6 weeks.   Every surgical plan is unique/different so I encourage you to direct these questions to your surgeon and his/her  staff.   Mommy Makeovers are truly transforming procedures.  I'm sure you'll love your results.

best of luck!
Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

4 hour car ride to 4 hour competition should be okay 17 days after Mommy Makeover

Hi there-

As long as you follow your surgeon's instructions in all ways, and your early postoperative course goes smoothly otherwise, I would think you plans should not complicate your outcome or recovery at all.

As always, however, I would recommend you get your surgeon's permission.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Traveling after a mommy makeover

It sounds like you should be okay.  Just make sure you get out and stretch every 1-2 hours in order to help prevent any blod clots in your legs.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Traveling 17 days after surgery.

Assuming your surgery goes well and there are no problems afterward, then you should be able to make your trip.  Your biggest responsibility would be to keep yourself well hydrated, to wear compressive stocking on your legs ( you can get these in a medical supply store) and to stop every hour so you could get out and walk around for 10 to 15 minutes.  These measures are all meant to decrease the risk of blood clots in your legs during a 4 hour trip.  Be sure this is cleared with your PS prior to the trip.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Acivity level after mommy makeover

Most likely you will feel up to attend the event, if not perhaps you can catch the next one. I would purchase some compression stockings to wear during the drive and make sure you stop several times during the trip and walk around for a few minutes--doing both of these will decrease your risk of blood clots. Get a comfortable seat pad/chair to sit in during the event, and of course check with your PS before you leave. Good luck! Dr Kerr

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 217 reviews

Travel after surgery

Travel  after surgery depends upon how you are doing and how you are feeling.  A 4 hour car trip after 17 days is possible if everything is going well.  You should arrange your follow up with your surgeon so that he or she can see you just before you leave and make sure your plans make sense.

If you are allowed to travel stretch your legs and take frequent breaks. Sitting in a car can lead to blood clots in the leg even without surgery, but after a tummy tuck you want to minimize these risks.  Make sure someone else handles your heavy Items.

Good luck to you and your Daughter.





Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 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.