Most patients want to know how soon they can resume activities after breast augmentation. If you’re planning a trip shortly after your surgery, or if you’ve traveled for the surgery itself, it’s important to discuss your plans with your plastic surgeon during the consultation. For post-operative patients, what you are able to do isn’t always what you should do—especially when it comes to flying.
Many of the normal activities usually associated with airplane travel can potentially create post-surgical complications. Rapid walking or running to catch a flight, or pulling or lifting heavy luggage, could cause post-operative bleeding, as could any action that increases the heart rate or elevates the blood pressure. Because you do a lot of sitting during a flight, your risk of developing a blood clot is increased. Air travelers tend to become dehydrated because of the dry air in the cabin. If any sort of complication arose during your flight, your resources for aid on the plane would be very limited, so it’s best not to take unnecessary risks.
So how long do you need to wait before you fly? Most board certified plastic surgeons have their own preferred protocols for recovery. A general guideline for flying would be about a week after your surgery, following the first post-operative exam. Regardless of whether you want to travel or not, the week after surgery is the period when most complications occur. The answer to the question also depends on your general health as well as on the intensity level of your travel. Remember that our team of plastic surgeons would want to know your plans so we can help you anticipate some of the necessary restrictions after breast enhancement.
Traveling can be perfectly safe if you follow your surgeon’s advice. Here are some simple suggestions for flying after breast augmentation surgery:
- Don’t lift or even pull heavy bags during your travel. This is a good time to use taxis, shuttles, or a valet service to handle your luggage.
- Don’t run to catch your flight or make a connection!
- Drink plenty of fluids during flight.
- Walk through the cabin a few times, but don’t exert to the point of raising your blood pressure too much.
- Keep any medication at hand, and have your surgeon’s number in your phone.
Finally, if you’re wondering about the effects of flying on your implants themselves, not to worry: Any slight contraction or expansion of the shell due to changes in cabin pressure is merely temporary.