Updated: Oct 12, 2021
In order to decrease flight related complications, the Department of Health in the Dominican Republic placed mandates regarding the amount of days a person needs to arrive in
Santo Domingo prior to their procedure. The amount of days is based on your flight time.
Continue reading for more information.
Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism
The flow of blood from your legs to your heart is dependent on your movement. When we walk our leg muscles contract around the veins to help move the blood upward. When we sit for long periods at a time, ie plane rides, the lack of movement causes the blood to pool in our legs increasing the risk for blood clot formation (DVT). These clots run the risk of traveling to the lungs where they can block necessary oxygenated blood flow causing pulmonary embolism.
Be proactive in preventing DVT
When flying try to stand up and walk at least once every hour. Wear compression socks. After surgery try to walk as much as you comfortably can. Listen to your surgeons recommendations. Keep hydrated!
"Pulmonary emboli can produce symptoms of shortness of breath, chest pains, a rapid heart rate, or fainting. In very rare cases, a fatal blockage of pulmonary arteries may occur." – Anne Bass, MD
The Rules of 2 and 3
In order to lower the risk of a flight based clot from traveling during surgery the Department of Health in the Dominican Republic has established the following regulations:
When your flight is less than three (3) hours you must arrive at least two (2) days prior to your procedure
When your flight is longer than three (3) hours you must arrive at least three (3) days prior to your procedure
Although rare, DVT formation during a flight is certainly a risk. Having surgery the same day as arriving may lead to dislodging the clot and causing serious complications during surgery.
Due to the nature of surgery and the risk for blood clots and pulmonary embolism, your surgeon may require you to arrive no less than one week prior to your procedure, regardless of travel time. They may also require a doppler test in order to detect any clots which may have formed. Following surgery you may be prescribed anticoagulation injections which will help to prevent blood clots by thinning out your blood.
Your Safety Matters
The decision to have surgery abroad is exciting, albeit not a light one. Whether it is for post bariatric skin removal or a mommy makeover, you made a personal decision to feel better about yourself. The regulations in place have been created to protect you. It may seem like an inconvenience but always remember, your safety matters first!