We have a large number of patients that travel to New York to see us for breast augmentation surgery, so naturally one of the most common questions my patients ask is “How soon can I travel after the procedure?”
There are several things to consider when traveling after breast augmentation to make sure you are traveling safely, and as long as you pay attention to these considerations early travel is always a possibility.
Keep Reading to find out more about what you should be thinking about when traveling after breast augmentation surgery…
How long do I have to wait to travel after surgery?
The absolute minimum time that we advise patients to wait is 1 week, but it’s always safest to wait at least 2 weeks before taking any major trips. The first two weeks are the most critical in terms of healing and being available for follow up visits, so waiting at least that amount of time is definitely a good idea. That being said, there is nothing wrong with taking a short trip within that two week time frame as long as you can make it back for your next scheduled follow up visit without too much of a hassle, and as long as you can travel back to your surgeon within a reasonable amount of time if somethings goes wrong and you need medical attention.
What should I watch out for if I decide to travel after breast augmentation?
- Luggage. You won’t be allowed to lift anything heavier than 5-10lbs until at least 2 weeks after surgery, so any trip that requires luggage is probably not a good idea unless you can make arrangements not to carry anything yourself.
- Overhead bins. Lifting heavy objects into an overhead bin within 2 weeks of surgery is a no-no, and you also need to be mindful about falling luggage at the end of a trip. If a piece of luggage should happen to fall onto your chest, this could easily cause serious damage to a healing surgical area.
- Other passengers. Just like you should be careful of unpredictable events like luggage falling from overhead bins, you also need to be careful of unpredictable people. No one except you will know that you’ve just had surgery, and they won’t be paying any more attention to you than they normally would. Getting bumped in the chest by an accidental elbow or backpack could cause a lot of damage or discomfort. This is also a consideration for traveling on the subway or train if you live in or near a large city.
- Your destination. Taking a flight longer than 3-4 hours within 2 weeks of surgery is not a good idea because your body is in a slightly inflamed state that predisposes you to blood clots on long trips. Likewise, you should also consider how much effort you’ll have to expend to reach your final destination after getting off the plane. Rushing to get luggage (even if you’re not carrying it yourself) and to catch cabs or trains is bound to cause problems within 2 weeks of surgery, so don’t forget that your trip doesn’t end as soon as the plane lands. In addition, while it’s tempting to book a beach vacation for the time that you’re recovering, it’s not a good idea to spend a lot of time in hot weather or lay in the sun right after surgery. Heat and sunshine will lead to quite a bit of additional swelling and discomfort, and will definitely prolong your recovery period.
Can I go through security scanners with breast implants?
Yes, it is possible to pass through airport security scanners with breast implants. Breast implants should not contain any metal, and should not cause a problem during security checks.
Is airplane cabin pressure a problem for breast implants?
No, as long as you’ve waited at least a week after your surgery, cabin pressure shouldn’t cause any problems for you.
I don’t see my traveling question here. What should I do?Nicholas Vendemia, M.D. Plastic Surgeon New York
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