Patient Information

Flying After Plastic Surgery

Flying After Plastic Surgery

Various types of plastic surgeries will affect your ability to fly safely and with optimal comfort.

Changes in air pressure and altitude during a flight can cause discomfort and swelling, which may negatively impact the healing processes. You must keep this in mind when planning flights surrounding your plastic surgery. Talk to Dr Assad Bangash or Dr Nasrin Davarpanah about their flying recommendations for your individual healing trajectory.

General Suggested Timeline

As a general guide, we do not recommend flying for at least 2-3 days after any plastic surgery to allow wounds to begin healing. Each type of plastic surgery has slightly different suggested wait times before flying. The information provided should only be used as a guide; talk to Dr Assad Bangash or Dr Nasrin Davarpanah for recommendations regarding your specific case to ensure safety, comfort and proper healing.

It is recommended that you wait for the following durations before flying after aesthetic surgeries:

  • Breast reduction: 2 weeks
  • Mastopexy (breast lift): 6 days
  • Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck): 2 to 4 weeks
  • Body contouring: varies depending on the procedure
  • Liposuction: 3 to 4 days
  • Otoplasty: 1-2 weeks
  • Brow and forehead lift: 3 weeks
  • Eyelid reduction: 1 week
  • Face and neck lift: 2 weeks
  • Rhinoplasty: 5 days
  • Gynaecomastia (male breast reduction): 2 weeks

Reconstructive surgeries also have varying recommended healing periods before flying:

  • Skin cancer: 7 to 10 days
  • Head and neck reconstruction: 2 weeks
  • Management of chronic wounds: varies depending on the procedure
  • Limb trauma: varies depending on the procedure

Below are some guidelines for flying after different types of breast surgery:

  • Oncoplastic breast surgery: 1 – 2 weeks
  • Lumpectomy (wide local excision): 1 – 2 weeks
  • Mastectomy: 1 – 2 weeks

Check Your Airline

Each airline has different policies regarding travel after surgery, and your doctor can help you understand these. Make sure you are fully aware of the requirements before booking a flight. Your airline may require a clearance to fly form, and Cutting Edge Surgery Toowoomba can provide this if you are fit to travel.

Links to common airlines are provided below for your convenience.

Virgin Australia

Singapore Airlines




Malaysia Airlines

Regional Express

Cathy Pacific

Sharp Airlines


Air New Zealand

Alliance Airlines

Travel Insurance

Your travel insurance may change as a result of your recent plastic surgery. Discuss your surgery with your provider for clarity; your insurance fees may increase.

Airport Security

Flying after plastic surgery can evoke concerns surrounding airport security. If you think security staff may not recognise your new post-surgery appearance by your identification images, you may be provided with surgery confirmation documentation or letters from your surgeon. Normally, new passport photos are only required if you have undergone a major facial reconstruction surgery, where your appearance has dramatically changed.  

In terms of metal detector concerns, the chips in breast implants are too small to set off the alarms. Additionally, the metals used in facial surgeries are not recognised by sensors. As a result, it is unlikely that you will experience metal detector complications after your plastic surgery.

Mobility Support

Depending on the area of surgery and one’s overall health, some patients may require the use of a wheelchair or crutches after their procedure. This is especially true for abdominoplasty patients. Inform your airline if you require a wheelchair, and they can organise for a mobility device to meet you at both your departure and arrival airports.

You must also inform your airline if you are using crutches. These will usually be stored during the flight.

Breast Implants and Flying

Many patients are under the impression that breast implants can rupture when flying. However, due to the durable material of modern breast implants, these devices are very rarely impacted by low air pressure. For any questions surrounding this, talk to Dr Assad Bangash or Dr Nasrin Davarpanah. They can provide individualised information about flying after breast surgery for your safety and peace of mind.


You will be required to wear a seatbelt for some of the flights. Wait to fly until you can wear a seatbelt comfortably without it affecting your healing trajectory.


You may require medication after your plastic surgery. Different airlines and countries have varying regulations for medications. You should consider the following before flying:

  • Medication on-board: Many airlines regulate the type and quantity of medication allowed on-board. Check that your medication is permitted in the cabin before your flight.
  • Country regulations: Medications may be regulated differently in the country you are travelling to compared to Australia. Ensure your medication and the quantity you intend to travel with is permitted at your destination.
  • Prescription and packaging: It’s important that you fly with your medication in its original packaging and bring your prescription and a description of your medication (in letter format) from your GP. This letter should include your medication’s name and the reason you require this medicine.
  • Quantity: Ensure that you pack enough medication for your trip. Carry a small amount in your hand luggage and place the rest in your suitcase, providing this is accepted by your airline. Some medications are only prescribed for a set duration (i.e.: 3 months). If you travel longer than this time, talk to your GP for a prescription letter.
  • Storing conditions: If your medication must be stored at a required temperature, you may wish to use ice packs, cooling bags, thermos flasks or insulated pouches.

Controlled medicines

Controlled drugs refer to medications that are regulated under the Misuse of Drugs legislation. Additional rules and regulations surround travelling with these medications.

If you must travel with a controlled medicine, ensure that it is placed in the original packaging and bring your prescription and a description of your medication from your GP. Travel with controlled medicines in your hand luggage. If you are travelling with a controlled drug for more than 6 weeks, provide a letter from your GP including your name, date of birth, home address, departure and return dates, travel itinerary, medication dosage, and the quantity of medication you are carrying.

Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg. You are at an increased risk of DVT development after a recent surgery. Please note, other factors that can increase DVT risks include a history of DVT, a history of blood clots, family members being affected by blood clots, being overweight, and being pregnant.  

Although the risk of DVT development when flying is low, it is important that you speak to your GP before boarding a plane for individualised advice.

When flying, you can reduce DVT risks by moving regularly and staying hydrated.

General Flying Advice

We understand that flying can be daunting under any circumstances, let alone in conjunction with undergoing recent surgery. Our team at Cutting Edge Surgery Toowoomba want to give you a few general tips for flying to reduce your stress.


  • Create a packing list and pack your bags in advance.
  • Have a good night’s rest before you travel.
  • Be familiar with hand luggage rules on your plane.
  • Arrive at the airport wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that won’t rub against or irritate the surgical area.
  • Pack travel sickness tablets if you are prone to nausea when flying.
  • Visit your GP if you have deep vein thrombosis-related concerns and purchase blood-thinning medications or compression stockings if recommended.
  • Pack entertainment items such as games, toys and books if you are travelling with children.
  • Ensure you can get to the airport in time for your flight. Pay for car parking or public transport tickets or organise a driver.


  • Keep your head elevated: To reduce swelling, keep your head elevated during the flight. You can do this by using a neck pillow or propping yourself up with pillows.
  • Stay hydrated: Flying can be dehydrating, so make sure to drink plenty of water before and during the flight. This can help reduce swelling and promote healing.
  • Move around: Sitting for long periods can increase the risk of blood clots, so try to move around periodically during the flight. You can do simple exercises such as ankle circles, toe raises, and leg stretches while seated.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol can delay healing and increase the risk of complications, so it’s best to avoid it shortly after surgery.
  • Look after your ears: To avoid ear pain, bring gum or sweets, and wake up approximately one hour before your plane lands. Stay hydrated with water.
  • Contact lenses: If you normally wear contact lenses, switch to glasses when flying.
  • Jet lag: Sleep during the flight and switch your watch time to that of your new time zone to reduce the effects of jet lag.