Avoiding Blood Clots when Flying to Travel for Surgery

Mia Aesthetics warmly welcomes patients from out of town. Whether you are driving in from a neighboring city of flying in from a completely different country, you can have a seamless surgical experience and a smooth recovery. Patients coming in to either of Mia Aesthetics’ locations must follow their instructions carefully to ensure a seamless experience.

One of the largest concerns many out of town patients have is how to avoid blood-clotting complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism after their procedure. DVT is a blood clot, commonly found in the leg or thigh, that can form as a result of stagnant blood flow, clotting, and damage to vein walls. DVT can cause leg pain and swelling. In rare cases, clots can also travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism, which is a blockage of arteries that cross the lung.

While the risk of blood clots is slightly higher if you are traveling for surgery, there are precautionary measures you can take to keep your risk very low in the days following your procedure. Below is a list of ways you can prevent blood clots when flying to travel for surgery:

Follow your Pre-op Instructions and Make Sure you are in Good Health
Following your pre-op instructions closely can help guarantee that you are in the best health possible going into surgery. Make sure to eat a balanced diet and get good sleep in the weeks leading up to your procedure. Additionally, make sure to avoid any of the following substances, as they can increase your risk of blood clots and other complications:

  • No smoking or any drugs 30 days prior to surgery
  • No alcoholic beverages 7 days prior to surgery
  • No birth control pills 2 weeks prior to surgery
  • No amphetamines 30 days prior to surgery
  • No ibuprofen or any meds that contain Ibuprofen 30 days prior to surgery

Stay in your Surgery City the Required Amount of Time
If you are traveling for surgery, Mia Aesthetics will require you to stay in your surgery city of choice for five days after your procedure. This is because flying after surgery can put you at risk of DVT due to the fact that you are generally inactive after surgery, meaning your muscles are not being utilized to pump blood around the body. Waiting a few days to travel after surgery will give your body some time to heal and allow you to get used to moving around again.

Keep Moving
If you are traveling by plane, make sure to take several walks throughout your flight. Standing every 30 to 40 minutes or so can help blood flow more regularly throughout your body, decreasing your chances of clotting.

Keep Hydrated
Keeping your body well hydrated is also a great way to reduce the risks of clotting when traveling after surgery. Make sure to drink a steady amount of water or other non-alcoholic beverages. The increased hydration will thin out your blood and allow it to flow more easily.

Wear Compression Socks
Compression stockings are specially made, snug-fitting, stretchy socks that gently squeeze your leg. The added leg compression improves your blood flow. They can reduce pain and swelling in your legs as well as lower your chances of getting DVT. Compression socks come in different sizes and strengths, so your surgeon can tell you what option will work best for you.

Use Anticoagulants – but Only if You’re at High Risk
Taken properly, anticoagulants can thin blood and decrease the risk of blood clots. But anticoagulants should only be given to patients who are known to be at high risk for clotting, either based on their medical history or their having a known genetic risk factor for clotting. Otherwise, taking anticoagulants preemptively can actually increase a patient’s chances of abnormal bleeding.

In Conclusion
In conclusion, if you are traveling for surgery, you will need to make sure you follow all required instructions in order to ensure you do not put yourself at risk for a blood clot. Avoid any prohibited substances before surgery and eat a rich, balanced diet to ensure you are in good health ahead of your procedure. Additionally, make sure you book accommodations for at least five days after your procedure to give your body some time to heal. During your day of travel, be sure to take plenty of breaks to stand and stretch, keep hydrated, and wear your compression socks. Doing so should prevent your risk of any complications and allow you to arrive home feeling great!

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