Most surgeons will agree that traveling within the first month after a major surgery is contraindicated. Your body needs time to heal, and sometimes it’s just better to stay in one place. Of course, you are grown. It is still your decision whether or not you travel sooner than later.
If you choose to travel within the first two months of your recovery, you should give yourself a minimum of a week to begin healing. Here are a few other tips and suggestions you may find useful for traveling after a major surgery.
Take time in between the legs of your journey
If you’re taking an extended road trip or a long journey through the air, it helps to take a little extra time in between each leg of the trip. For instance, say you’re flying from Singapore to the United States. The regular flight time straight through is nearly twenty hours.
Instead of taking a non-stop flight, schedule your itinerary with a few layovers for added rest. It may cost more and take more time, but your health is worth the extra effort.
Keep yourself hydrated during travel
Whether you’re flying or riding in a car, it’s important that you keep yourself hydrated along the way. The air in a pressurized airplane cabin is a bit dry, and it could leave you feeling a bit dry too. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water as you go.
Consider taking an aspirin before flying
It’s a common practice for post-op travelers to take an aspirin before traveling, but you should always ask your surgeon about this option first. The idea behind taking an aspirin before your trip is to thin your blood a bit.
Thinning the blood will help to reduce your chances of developing a blood clot. If you can’t get up to walk, your body could struggle to maintain homeostasis after surgery. Take the time every hour or so to stand up and walk around a bit. Get your blood flowing to protect against complications.
Don’t travel alone after surgery
Bring a travel buddy along with you, so you aren’t tasked with managing your incisions all on your own. Without proper aftercare, you could get an infection at the incision site left behind from surgery.
Depending on what sort of surgery you have, traveling alone may not even be an option. With a friend or family member by your side, you will have a greater chance of arriving at your destination unscathed.
Utilize a wheelchair if it is necessary
Get a wheelchair if you really need one to get around safely. Put opinions and judgments aside, and enjoy the ride. Using a wheelchair during your recovery doesn’t mean you will have to remain in the wheelchair forever.
To read more on topics like this, check out the traveling category.