Skip to content
Portada » Blog » Can you fly after cosmetic surgery?

Can you fly after cosmetic surgery?

Many patients ask us if after undergoing cosmetic surgery it is possible to take a plane to return home or take a vacation. This issue has been controversial for years since it was suspected that since airplane cabins are not pressurized to the same atmospheric pressure as on the ground, it could affect wound healing. The other issue of concern was related to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary thromboembolism, two complications that can arise in the postoperative period of some cosmetic surgeries and that prolonged immobilization from a long flight could trigger them.

Luckily, two scientific studies from 2017 and 2018 have corroborated that traveling by plane after surgery is completely safe. The first study belongs to the Journal Thorac Cardiovascular surgery, from 2017, carried out at the Mayo Clinic with post-operative lung resection patients in the thoracic surgery service. Patients were interviewed about their chosen method of returning home after discharge. Those who returned by plane (with distances of up to 1700 km) and those who returned by car were separated, and no statistically significant differences were found in the postoperative complications of either group.

Safety of air travel in the immediate postoperative period after anatomic pulmonary resection. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2017 May;153(5)

“Air travel during this period was not associated with any significant increase in risk of complications when compared with conventional ground transportation and seems to be a safe option for patients after chest tube removal.”

The second study belongs to the Clinics of Breast Cancer of the year 2018. This is a meta-analysis in which all the variables that have to do with traveling by plane in the postoperative period of a mastectomy were dismantled. Their conclusions were that air travel was safe for breast surgery patients.

Air Travel Safety in Postoperative Breast Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review.

“Air travel is generally safe in patients after breast cancer surgery.”

We generally allow flying by plane after cosmetic surgery as long as the patient’s conditions are correct, that is, surgery without complications, without active bleeding and with good general condition. In complex surgeries such as large liposuctions and abdominoplasties, we take extreme precautions, recommending only short flights, less than 3 hours, to avoid prolonged immobilization that increases edema in the lower limbs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *