Checklist and Guide for Traveling Away from Home for Plastic Surgery Following Weight Loss

It’s tempting to consider taking a plastic surgery trip to a well-known plastic surgery location. Why not combine “vacation” and recovery? There are “plastic surgery packages” available that combine sightseeing and recovery. Recovering from surgery is not a vacation it’s work!

tijuana driving tours

Making Medical Travel Plans

You can start organizing your medical travel once you have decided that a procedure is necessary and have chosen a qualified plastic surgeon. You can begin organizing your medical travel once you have decided that a procedure is necessary and have chosen a qualified plastic surgeon.

Nothing is more crucial to successful plastic surgery than picking the best (board-certified, of course) surgeon. And if the number of plastic surgeons offering “fly-in” programs or international plastic surgery packages is any indication, this frequently entails traveling to another city, state, or even country for cosmetic enhancement.

A lot of preparation for an out-of-town surgery involves thinking through the logistics of getting there and finding a place to stay while you recover. How to return home safely after surgery is also crucial. 

Traveling for surgery is acceptable if the patient does their part to ensure a positive outcome. That includes taking specific safety measures on your return trip. At VIDA Wellness and Beauty we offer our best travel advice.

Schedule Checklist

Plan a pre-consultation using any of the following, individually or in combination. Personally, through a local associate or agent or office in your country of origin over the phone, using a form online, or video call over the Internet.

  • Make sure the medical professionals who will look after you before and following surgery can speak your language, including the surgeon.
  • Get a price for your surgery and make sure you know everything that is included. For more details, please visit our Fees, Financing & Insurance page.
  • Decide how you will pay for the procedure and any necessary travel. Find out if your surgeon accepts cash, traveler’s checks, or credit cards as forms of payment. Inquire about the various forms of financing.
  • Set a date for your surgery with the clinic. Establish what vaccinations and lab work are necessary. Learn how far in advance you must show up for your consultation.
  • Make sure your primary care physician is aware of your surgery and sends your surgeon any pertinent medical records to maintain continuity of care. Make sure your surgeon can send your local doctor information about your procedure.
  • Find out what kind of recovery and aftercare you might require. When will you be able to go back home? What is the schedule for subsequent appointments?
  • Find emergency medical services both in the country you are visiting and at home.

Create your travel plan 

Take into account:

  • Where will you spend the night before your procedure and the following day?
  • The practice’s closest airport is…
  • Will you require a passport? You need a visa, right?
  • Will you require traveler’s checks or foreign currency?
  • Who will drive you to your hotel and assist with your post-op care?
  • Pack for your trip. Besides the usual travel necessities, useful items after surgery could include:
  • Utilizing a hat, scarf, or sunscreen as sun protection
  • Bring clothes that are simple to put on and take off (shirts that button in front, pants with elastic waist)
  • Specialized compression clothing
  • Pillows to support specific areas after surgery for the neck, body, or back

Each surgeon has a unique postoperative plan. For instance, when one of our surgeons allows patients who have had breast augmentations to travel a few days after surgery, they are much more cautious when it comes to more extensive procedures. If a patient must fly, we usually want them to stay in town for two to three weeks after a tummy tuck or bigger procedure—like a mommy makeover. 

Don’t go home right away

Before your procedure, ask your plastic surgeon how long you will need to stay in the area. This can differ significantly depending on the procedure you’re having, any risk factors you may have for complications, how quickly you heal, and whether you need to fly home or if it’s a short drive.

The risk of postoperative complications, such as bleeds, infections, or wound issues is another reason to stay put (aside from the obvious one of allowing plenty of time to rest and recover). If a complication arises, you want to be able to contact your surgeon for evaluation quickly.

Enlist a traveling companion

Many patients who travel for plastic surgery do so with a family member or friend, and that is sensible. Staying inside after surgery can be kind of depressing. Having someone with you gives you comfort and energy.

Beyond your emotional health, you need a travel companion. You won’t be able to do this alone. As well as accompanying you on the last leg of your journey, someone will need to be with you, for physical support and transport to and from your surgery. Attempting to handle things on your own can undermine the results of your surgery or lead to complications.

Prevent blood clots

Deep venous thrombosis, or DVT, also known as blood clots, is a risk factor for both travel and surgery. Long periods of inactivity, such as those involved in driving or flying, can cause blood to pool or thicken, which can lead to blood clots in the legs. If a clot develops, it may also become loose and travel to the heart or lungs, where it may seriously harm the patient.

Get on your feet 

Walking around gets your blood flowing, though you don’t want to exert yourself too much. This not only lessens the chance of blood clots but may also hasten your recovery. Even bending and straightening your legs and moving your ankles can help improve circulation and prevent blood clots if you cannot walk. 

Avoid dehydration

Hydration is essential after surgery because blood has been lost and will thicken. This increases its propensity to clotting. Dehydration hinders wound healing in addition to raising the risk of blood clots: Blood, which carries the oxygen and nutrients required for wound healing, contains a significant amount of water. We recommend consuming 1.5 to 2 liters (six to eight cups) of water daily to maintain proper hydration. At Vida Wellness and Beauty we have IV Vitamin Therapy that can revitalize and replenish your system, Amid the daily craziness, it is not always possible to eat the right foods. You get the nutrients and energy you need, through vitamin therapy.

Make yourself comfortable

Even in first or business class, flying can be confined. In your post-operative condition, you might still have healing incisions, and being bruised or swollen can make it even more uncomfortable to be crammed in that small seat for hours (or to endure a jarring car ride).

  • Select the ideal seat.
  • Have some blankets or pillows on hand so you can support yourself and cover any exposed areas.
  • Plan your wardrobe. You’ll feel more at ease and comfortable if you wear comfortable soft clothing. While you’re recovering, loose clothing is also beneficial.
  • Don’t forget to pack your medication.

Plan a trip and a post-op strategy.

In addition to the obvious transportation options planes, trains, or cars? you’ll also need to find a clean, comfortable place to stay close to your surgeon’s clinic or operating room. While different surgeons offer various resources to out-of-town patients, the majority provide a list of suggested hotels (at various price points) and choices for post-operative nursing care.

Include an extra two to three days for travel, as well as at least one week after surgery and two to three days for a pre-op exam (more on that later). For planning purposes, your surgeon will be able to provide you with a more detailed timeline.

Casting a wide net when looking for a plastic surgeon can pay off handsomely, giving you unrestricted access to the nation’s top experts. Sometimes when you think you’ve found a bargain, you wind up getting more than you bargained for. Before making any decisions, consider your reasons for traveling, especially if you find yourself focusing on locations with notoriously low prices.

Dr. Alejandro Quiroz

Dr. Quiroz is our board-certified Chief Plastic Surgeon at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Facial Rejuvenation, Neck lift, Buttock Augmentation, Breast Augmentation, Body Contouring and more. He is member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, the Mexican Society of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and the Mexican Council of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, to mention a few.