How soon after getting liposuction is it safe to fly on an airplane? What are the concerns about flying, if any?
The concerns about flying after a major surgical procedure are related to the risk of developing deep venous thrombosis, or DVT, and the related complication of pulmonary embolism, or PE. Flying in itself is a risk for these conditions. Sitting for prolonged periods, with the ability for leg movement limited, causes pooling of blood in the lower extremities. This increases the risk of clot formation in the deep veins of the legs. Anyone in a hypercoagulable state from illness, medications or recent surgery is at an increased risk for this disorder. Any major surgical procedure induces some degree of a hypercoagulable state through trauma to tissues and small blood vessels. In plastic surgery, procedures that most significantly contribute to this state include abdominoplasty and liposuction. Following either of these procedures, or any other major surgery, it would be best to avoid air travel for a minimum of 10 to 14 days. With air travel shortly after this period, prophylaxis against DVT and PE should be considered only through consultation with your surgeon. Medications used for prophylaxis would include subcutaneous heparin injections as well as aspirin and other platelet inhibiting agents.