Post Operative Plane Travel

The information in this section is made available through the generous support of Dr. Grant Stevens and Dr. Luis H. Macias

Post Operative Plane Travel

BreastHealthOnline believes that it is best to wait until at least 8 weeks after your surgery before taking any trips. However, if you find that you must take a plane trip before you are 8 weeks post op, be aware that you can be putting yourself at risk for healing complications by traveling early in your recovery.  Take care of yourself while you travel. Anything you do to prevent healing complications is helpful.  Please keep the following tips in mind.  

* While booking or checking in, explain that you recently had surgery and ask for a seat with no one next to you or one with a little extra room (bulkhead seat, etc.).

* Try to avoid sitting in the middle of three seats. Flying elbows could really hurt your post-op breasts.

* Have someone bring your luggage to the airport for you (coming and going), including taking it to the check-in counter and luggage check in.

* Keep one small bag with you that contains only your ID, money, minor necessities, and plane tickets.

* Have someone pick you up from the airport (coming and going), including having them get your luggage. Do not attempt to carry, drag, or lift your luggage yourself, even if you have luggage with wheels.

* Be cautious and aware of other travelers. People in airports tend to be rushed and don't always pay attention to the people around them. You don't want to get your post-op breasts bumped into or hit. Carrying a newspaper or magazine and holding it in front of your chest with your arms crossed is a good way to cover your chest without actually holding on to your breasts.

* Be sure to drink lots of water before, during, and after your trip as well as get up and move regularly to prevent blood clots.

* Eat a healthy diet rich in high-quality protein and green vegetables, like our Healing Diet before, during, and after your trip.

* Know your limits while you are away and know you may over do it before you know it.  If you are traveling for business, let your employer know your limits. If you are traveling for a personal reason, let any family or friends know what you can and can't do and stick to it.

* Be sure to get rest whenever you can. Go to bed early and sleep late. The trip will put your body under quite a bit of stress, so please be kind to it.

* We are also aware that some patients travel to their surgeon by car or plane. You'll want to follow all the same precautions here and ask the advice of your surgeon for help during this time as well.