I Am Planning on Taking an 8 Hour Road Trip 3 Weeks After my Mommy Makeover. Is This Enough Time to Heal Properly?

Doctor Answers 9

Time to heal after Mommy Makeover

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Congratulations on making the decision to have a mommy makeover, I hope it all goes smoothly for you.

It's never possible to predict what your post operative course will be, so I can't give a definitive answer to the question. However, I would suggest that you take into consideration a few factors when planning your road trip.

Firstly, will you be healed enough that you're safe to be 8 hours away from your surgeon? Usually yes, but if you have problems with wound healing, infection or recurrent seromas then you may still require medical care. Will you be able to manage dressing changes on the road or where you're travelling to?

Secondly, will you feel up to making the road trip? If it's something that has to be done you may be able to grin and bear it, but if the trip is for a holiday or something that can be easily delayed then that might be a wise idea. Even if only to make life calmer and easier on you.

An 8 hour road trip does carry risks of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), as does a tummy tuck. Combining the road trip and the surgery will increase your risk. Especially if you can't get out of the car and walk around every 2-3 hours during the trip. 

I hope that 3 weeks after your surgery you will feel (and look) fantastic. If there's any way that you can avoid being "locked in" to the road trip that would take the pressure off you and your body.

I hope that helps and good luck with it all! 

Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

Increased risk of clotting from immobilization... Consult your surgeon.

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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. 

Break up the drive to be safe, and listen to your surgeon...

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A mommy makeover is a great procedure to address numerous body contour concerns after pregnancy in one surgery.This is a great convenience for patients but it does mean that the recuperation is longer and a little harder than it would be for a single surgery.By 3 weeks out from your mommy makeover you will be starting to get back to normal with most things, but you will still be far from fully healed!By then you will be off the pain meds, hopefully your drains will be out, and you should be back to work (unless you have a very physical job).You will NOT be back to lifting, doing any strenuous exercise or swimming.You may also still have some stitches in or wound healing issues.(It is not uncommon to pop a stitch or two and still have a dressing or bandage on one spot or another.) You will also still be seeing your plastic surgeon frequently, so you will not want to be out of town for too long at a time.The 8 hour car ride should be alright by 3 weeks out, but you will want to break up the trip a little and get out and walk around the car a few times at least every couple of hours.Also consider wearing TED hose while traveling and stay well hydrated—this will help to reduce the risk of blood clots.Finally, be ready to be flexible… if there is some complication or set back in your healing process your doctor may decide it is not safe for you to go.If that’s the case, it’s not worth risking your results for a road trip!

I Am Planning on Taking an 8 Hour Road Trip 3 Weeks After my Mommy Makeover. Is This Enough Time to Heal Properly?

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Given the opportunity to do your road trip first and surgery second, I would recommend that course.  If you are fully committed, then work closely with your surgeon and make sure you stop about every hour and walk around a bit to minimize chances of blood clots forming.

For more information, please go to my website at:

Risks of travelling after Surgery - Timing and Safety Factors

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Traveling after Mommy Makeover, Tummy tuck and other Surgery?


If 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 could travel. 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. 

Traveling after Mommy Makeover Surgery?

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Thank you for the question.

Assuming your postoperative recovery is uneventful and there are no complications that require the attention of your plastic surgeon (while you plan to be away) than traveling for a short period of time away from your plastic surgeon should be okay.

During the road trip that will be it a good idea to frequently move lower extremities, stop and ambulate, stay well hydrated, and use baby aspirin (if not contraindicated).

Keep in mind, that your plastic surgeon may advise you to postpone your road trip in the event of complications postoperatively.

Given that “mommy makeover” surgery often involves significant physical and emotional recovery, the following words of advice may be helpful as well:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

I hope this helps.

Healing and blood clot risk

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I try to convince my patients to have the surgery AFTER the big trip or event.  You will still be swollen and healing at 3 weeks post op.  If you have a complication you will be in unfamiliar territory and have to go to an urgent care center or ER; your trip could then be interrupted.  You have an increased risk of blood clots after the “Mommy Makeover” and driving for so long raises that risk.   I am finding out that people are busy and their schedules packed.   So if you can’t reschedule – be mindful of ways to decrease blood clot risk.  Stay hydrated, stop the car every two hours to walk, wear compression hose and exercise your feet and calves while you sit. 


D`Arcy Honeycutt, MD
Bismarck Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Long road trips after tummy tuck

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If you are well healed and comfortable after your tummy tuck or mommy make over you can travel. Tummy tuck does have a higher risk of deep venous thrombosis or DVT. You may not be out of the danger range just three weeks after your procedure, and the 8 hour travel time could put you at risk. Look into frequent stops and walks, compression stockings, and leg exercises while seated.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Long road trip after mommy makeover surgery

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I would probably advise you to enjoy your 8 hour road trip first and have your surgery after the trip.  Best of luck!

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

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.