There are amazing board-certified surgeons found all across the country. Some common reasons women travel out-of-state or even out-of-the-country for their breast augmentation include physician preference, cost, complicated or specific surgical techniques (e.g. transaxillary or TUBA).
When planning your out-of-town surgery, the first step will be to work with your surgeon and their office to arrange for your care. Each surgeon will have different recommendations for how long you should stay before traveling home. These recommendations may vary based on your individual surgery. A breast lift or revision breast surgery may also require a longer stay. Some surgeons may allow travel after the first 48 hours, while others may require a week-long stay until the risks of hematoma and seroma are significantly reduced.
Your breast augmentation method and distance of travel may also lay a factor in how long you must stay for surgery.
Traveling after Breast Augmentation
Road travel- You absolutely cannot drive a vehicle until you are no longer taking pain medication! As a passenger in a vehicle, you will have limitations on your movement which can increase risks of post-surgical DVT (deep vein thrombosis). DVT is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of your body, usually the legs. This is why many surgeons encourage you to get up and slowly walk after your surgery. When you are planning a drive or a flight home you need to plan for breaks to get up and move around. You’ll need to plan for frequent breaks while driving to get up and move. These necessary breaks can add time to your travel plans.
Flying after breast augmentation- Flying home you will still need to plan to have breaks to move around. A complication like DVT can happen with any decrease in movement. Plan to take short walks up and down the aisle of the plane to keep your blood flowing. All flights are in pressurized aircraft, so there is no additional reasons to worry about this method of travel over road travel. No, the high altitudes and changing altitudes will not affect your implants. Just like any regular passenger, you may see an increase in your heart rate and breathing rate.
Before booking your flight you should consider your layover times. You just had surgery, you will not be running through the airport to make a 15-minute connection. Many airlines offer assistance to passengers with a physical need, check with your airline to see if you may be able to get help moving from one gate to the next. With regard to your luggage, most surgeons place a weight limit on how much you can lift post surgery. You should pack lightly or plan to check your bags. No matter how wonderful flight staff may be, many airlines have rules regarding their handle of passenger bags. Your fellow passengers may be able to help, but checking your bag removes the chances you will try to lift or reach past your surgeon’s limits.
Choosing accommodations for an out-of-town breast augmentation
Once you know your flight or driving plans you will need to look for accommodations and travel to and from appointments. Traveling for surgery has become more common, some surgical practices see enough travel patients to have a coordinator that will help you with all the details! These coordinators are not travel agents, but they may be able to guide you to hotels that have worked well with previous patients or a car service to get you to and from appointments. Sometimes they have even networked a discount for their patients!
When choosing your accommodations there are many tips you may want to consider. Most of these can be found in the surgical travel section of the forum. Many former traveling patients recommend:
- Requesting a room with simple kitchenette features so you have the ability to eat when required to take your medication.
- Access to extra pillows and linen to help prop yourself into a comfortable sleeping position is also a hot tip.
- Some women have preferred hotels that offer beds that are low to the floor so they can get up easier or walk-in showers for fewer chances of tripping.
- Your post-surgery care person may need a bit of a break too, so you may want to consider hotel features or close attractions that may give them some entertainment opportunities after your first 24 hours post-op.
Vehicle travel will depend on the distance you are from your surgeon’s office and the surgery location, and of course, having a driver. Some travelers find great deals on car rentals while others use a taxi service or even uber. Check your hotel to see if they offer a shuttle service, it may be limited in how far you can travel but it can help you take care of your needs. If anything the hotel shuttle is a great resource to get you to and from the airport.