Medical Tourism involves travelling abroad to receive world-class medical treatment at a very affordable rates. However most patients are not aware that after surgery the body needs time to heal and therefore flying home too soon can be risky.
Don’t be in such a hurry to fly
Surgical procedures such as cosmetic surgery causes trauma to the body and it can be dangerous to get on a plane and endure the extreme altitude shift and forces that are associated with takeoff and landing. In some cases, flying could increase the risk of complications, and be quite uncomfortable for the patient.
Besides the altitude and the forces of the engine, airplanes are notorious for being harbours of viruses and bacteria. After surgery, the immune system response may be lowered, and the likelihood of infection is increased, especially on a flight, no matter how long or short it is. Most surgeons would recommend that the patient stay grounded until the healing process is complete.
Patients who travel to undergo cosmetic surgery should expect to spend a minimum of a week recovering from surgery before flying again. Although some surgeons prefers that the the patient take it easy at this time, with the right compression garments, on a short flight, some patient are allowed to travel.
After a week, most surgeons will allow their patients to fly. However, the risk of blood clots is increased after surgery and when flying. If the patient is at risk of developing blood clots, he or she may have to wait longer to fly. Patients that are approved to fly should get up and walk around the plane when it is allowed.
During this time, it is still important not to be lifting heavy bags, running through the airport, or drinking alcohol. In general, most surgeons would recommend that their patients wait three to four weeks before resuming plane travel.
Possible Side Effects
Possible side effects of traveling include infection, deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, elevated blood pressure, and irritation of the wound site. Because flying on a plane is uncomfortable, there is always the concern that the wound site may be affected, especially in surgeries like breast augmentation and abdominoplasty.
The rise in blood pressure is the most common side effect, and can also be a dangerous one, though the possibility of picking up a cold or other sickness while the immune system is depressed is definitely something to be concerned about and to safeguard against.
The biggest danger in flying is the risk of blood clots and thrombosis. Both of these are related both to the trauma the patient’s body has just endured, and the change in altitude. In order to mitigate these dangers, most doctors will recommend only taking a short flight and getting up to walk around as much as possible during the flight. The patient may want to alert the flight attendant to their concerns so that they are provided with a steady stream of fluids.
The best recommendation is for you to give enough time to recover especially after major or multiple surgery. This will ensure that the surgical wound has healed properly and you have regained your energy to cope with the long journey.