When can you drive after having a plastic surgery procedure?
Perhaps you just had Liposuction, a Tummy Tuck, or a Mommy Makeover. Or maybe you are trying to plan out your recovery timeline in advance. In either case, it is important to know when it is safe to drive after having a plastic surgery procedure.
Driving after any surgery, even seemingly “minor” procedures, requires caution. Are you driving to and from work? To and from daycare? After-school activities for kids? Or are we thinking about a three hour drive the weekend after surgery?
Here we offer a general guide designed to tell you when it should be reasonable to drive after having a plastic surgery procedure. This driving guide is not intended to suggest strenuous activities like being out all day at your kids travel soccer or swim meet, or taking an extended trip. Instead, it targets when you can safely make short trips to and from work, school or quick errands.
While this can be a helpful guide, do your research and ask your plastic surgeon when it is safe to drive a car again after your procedure. They know intimately the surgery they performed and what you should do to optimize your recovery. Before you go back to driving, it best to confirm the timeframe with your surgeon.
Driving after facial plastic surgery
Facelift, Necklift, Browlift, Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift), Rhinoplasty
Delicate facial procedures like a Facelift or Nose Job require a couple of weeks for initial healing. Your surgical dressings, post-procedure swelling and numbness can limit your neck movement and visibility, especially after eyelid surgery. That makes checking blind spots difficult. Wait two weeks if possible, but if you must drive, usually you can get back to short drives at around 7-10 days.
Driving after Submental Liposuction
Liposuction to your neck area just under your chin to give you the sharper jawline (Submental Lipo) requires good compression after surgery. The compression garment makes driving hard, so if you can wait 7 days before driving, that allows you to wear the garment consistently. However, if you must get on the road, we think you should be safe to do that as early as 4 days after chin Lipo.
Driving after a Breast Augmentation
The recommendation for Breast Augmentation surgery depends on placement of your implants. Breast implants under the muscle require more pain meds early on than breast implants above the muscle. We recommend you wait 7 days before returning to driving after implants under the muscle. If you have toddlers and need to get them to and from daycare, be sure to discuss their weight and mobility (can they climb into the carseat or do they need you to lift them) with your doctor before you plan on chauffeuring them around. We would not want you lifting a 25 pound toddler 7 days after surgery.
If you have implants above the muscle, you might feel great as early as 1-2 days after surgery. Driving that early is too soon though. We recommend waiting at least 7 days to allow your tissues to heal.
Driving after a Breast Lift or Breast Reduction
Breast Lift and Breast Reduction procedures involve a lot of internal work and more surface area that needs to heal compared to some other breast surgeries. That is why we recommend giving yourself 7-10 days to heal before driving afterwards. If we use mesh to help support your breasts, like an internal bra, you may want to give yourself 10-14 days. This is because you can feel sore where the mesh is secured along your ribs.
Driving after a Breast Lift with implants
A Breast Lift with implants involves a lot of internal work and more surface area that needs to heal compared to a Breast Augmentation or just a Breast Lift. That is why we recommend giving yourself 10-14 days to heal before driving after a Breast Lift with implants. Most of these procedures are done with implants under the muscle. Chances are you will feel a bit sore and the swelling will be uncomfortable.
Out of all the breast surgeries listed here, this particular surgery takes the longest time to heal and for your implants to settle. Avoid lifting kids and groceries for 2 weeks at a minimum and longer if you have the support.
Driving after a Tummy Tuck
A Tummy Tuck is major surgery that affects your six-pack or your core muscles. This limits your ability to get in and out of cars easily or twist to check a blind spot. Most people are able to return to short drives (like a work commute) around 7-10 days. If you have the luxury of two weeks to take off, then we recommend you take it, but it is not mandatory for a Tummy Tuck.
We recommend waiting at least 3-4 weeks before trying to drive to get groceries. If you have toddlers and need to get them to and from daycare, be sure to discuss their weight and mobility (can they climb into the carseat or do they need you to lift them) with your doctor before you plan on chauffeuring them to and fro.
Driving after BodyTite or Liposuction
These fat-sculpting techniques leaves you feeling sore and swollen. Wait 4-7 days for discomfort to subside and for improved flexibility before navigating traffic. If multiple body areas are treated simultaneously (for example lipo to both your abdomen and arms versus just lipo to your inner thighs), give yourself 7 days before driving.
Driving after a Labiaplasty
We want to minimize swelling after your Labiaplasty. To do that, you should avoid sitting upright if possible. Sitting up makes your pelvis the lowest part of your torso, where blood and fluid can pool and stretch out tissues and impact healing. Laying down on a bed on your stomach or back is preferred sitting upright (the position when driving in a car). Ideally, we want you to wait 7 days before driving and sitting for prolonged periods.
When it is safe to drive after a plastic surgery procedure
Remember, these are just general guidelines when it comes to driving after plastic surgery. Always prioritize your board certified plastic surgeon’s instructions, And of course, listen to your body! Rest, recover, and give yourself time to heal – the open road can wait a little longer.
To schedule a consultation with our experts, contact Tannan Plastic Surgery today. (919) 797-0996
Folks come to see us from all over. It is common for our patients to travel from all the corners of Raleigh plus Apex, Holly Springs, Fuqua-Varina, Cary, Morrisville, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Pittsboro, Garner, Knightdale, RTP, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons, Wake Forest, Wilmington, Fayetteville and the surrounding areas for our unique approach to cosmetic plastic surgery, Botox, and filler.
If you are looking for the best plastic surgeon and the best Botox injector for you, be sure to do your research! We hope our all-women, all-star team can help you regain your confidence and move forward as the brightest version of you.