If you can’t find a local breast augmentation surgeon that you’re comfortable with, it is not unreasonable to travel long distances for your surgery. Nevertheless, you must know certain precautions that will keep you safe and help you achieve the “best” result from this procedure.
Medical tourism is loosely defined as “traveling for more than five hours” to get a surgery. For this reason, instructions differ from patient to patient due to variables such as the type of procedure, length of travel, amount of pain and discomfort, just to name a few.
Leading Los Angeles plastic surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smaili says he generally “prefers” or requires his out of town patients to stay within the vicinity three to 10 days so he can personally see their progress, adding that women who are not amenable to this arrangement should exercise extra precaution.
If you are travelling alone, you may want to have an overnight stay at a hospital or hire a private nurse to take care of your needs for at least a day or two.
In the first few days postop, it is not ideal to travel alone or drive your car since painkillers are known to cause lethargy and sleepiness, which can make it dangerous to perform tasks that involve high level of alertness.
Should you really need to travel by car a few days postop, a good alternative is to ask someone whom you trust to drive you home. However, it is important that you make regular stops (or every one or two hours) so you can take a short walk, stretch your legs, or just move around to keep your blood circulating.
Keep in mind that performing light exercise regularly plays a crucial role in preventing deep vein thrombosis or blood clots in legs, which is a risk after any type of surgery. This will also prevent weight gain, persistent swelling, and lethargy.
However, you may want to wait a little longer if you are going to travel by air. While each doctor has specific instructions, a good rule of thumb is to stay within the vicinity 10 to 14 days before you take a long flight.
When you arrive home, it is ideal to have a local doctor who can check on your progress, although you should still communicate with your breast augmentation surgeon on a regular basis.
While breast augmentation recovery is a “straightforward” experience, with pain easily managed by mild painkillers in the first few days, it remains important that you avoid sudden jerky movements of the arm, or anything that causes discomfort. Also, stay away from activities that can increase your heart rate and blood pressure in the first three weeks.