The Ultimate Traveling for Explant Packing Guide

The Ultimate Traveling for Explant Packing Guide

If you’re traveling out of state or even out of the country for explant, you will need to make sure you have everything you might need while you are away. What you choose to pack may largely depend on where you are going and for how long. When it comes to your comfort while away for surgery and recovery, little things can make a big difference.

In order to help you pack your bag before traveling for explant/lift/liposuction/fat grafting procedures, I have created an overview of all the things you may want to have with you once you are in the hospital or surgery center and during your recovery stay.

Use these ideas as a checklist and decide for yourself what you are going to need. Print it out and cross out the things you don’t want to bring. Check-off the items you’ve already packed so you know exactly what still needs to be added to your bag.

The Ultimate Explant Packing List:


  • Picture ID card and passport (If traveling out of the country)
  • Health insurance card/information
  • Documents requiring your doctor’s signature (sometimes those of us with certain health conditions will need pre-approval from their doctor that it is safe to operate on us)
  • Important phone numbers: Contact people at the surgery center, hotel or recovery center you will be staying at, emergency contact numbers, etc.
  • Exact address of where you will be staying (especially if going out of the country as immigration will want this information prior to letting you into the country)
  • Copy of power of attorney, living will and/or advance directive (if applicable)
  • Preoperative lab work, MRI, breast ultrasound, EKG, mammogram, etc. that is required
  • Cash: especially if traveling outside of the country. It is much easier to bring the cash you will need rather than trying to find a bank while in another country. You can wear a money belt under your clothes if carrying a lot of cash makes you nervous.

Tip: put all these essentials together in a manila envelope so everything is together and doesn’t get lost.


Soap and shampoo are typically provided by the hotel or recovery center, but it can be nice to bring your own. Having your own trusted products with their familiar scents can make you feel more comfortable.

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Dry shampoo so you don’t have to wash your hair daily. You won’t be able to lift your arms to wash your hair, so unless you have someone with you to wash it daily, you’ll want some dry shampoo. You may need help applying this too.
  • Body wash
  • Antibacterial soap for incision sites
  • Face wash
  • Moisturizer/ lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products (many ladies get their period after surgery even if it wasn’t expected)
  • Razors, shaving cream
  • Toilet paper – if traveling out of the country. Depending on where you are going, toilet paper may not be in abundant supply. I took 4 rolls with me for a 2 week stay in CR and didn’t regret it. The toilet paper in other countries can also be a bit rough.
  • Nail clippers


Explant surgery is going to make changing clothes challenging for a couple of weeks. Packing some of your most comfortable clothing that is also easy to get on and off will help. You don’t need to bring a ton of clothing. You will likely be able to have your clothes laundered while away. Items that you may want to pack include:

  • Button up pajamas
  • Comfortable and loose pants (sweat pants, etc),
  • Loose shirts, button up shirts, a tank top that is easy to get on
  • Light jacket
  • Zip up sweat shirt
  • Underwear
  • Flip flops and slip-on shoes
  • Slippers / Crocs – for walking the halls
  • A hat (in case you want to hide your unwashed hair)

Personal Care Items

  • Hair ties, clips and barrettes (you likely won’t be washing your hair daily)
  • Hair brush and comb
  • Lip balm (the air is often very dry in air conditioned surgery centers and hotels)
  • Saline nasal spray (in case you get sick or are stuffy while away)
  • Throat lozenges/cough drops (in case you get sick while away)
  • Essential oils (soothing, relaxing, and might make you feel more at home)


  • Earplugs (so you can nap well in the day time and on the plane)
  • Eye mask (so you can nap well in the day time and on the plane) – sleeping well goes a long way toward recovering from surgery.
  • Relaxation Tools – a hot pack (not for use on incision sites)
  • Warm socks
  • Slippers
  • Bathrobe
  • Your own pillow, electric blanket (depending on time of year)
  • Travel neck pillow (I found this to be incredibly helpful to me for sleeping. You will be required to sleep on your back for a while. It wasn’t comfortable for me to sleep on a pillow, so I used this instead. I used it like a donut for the back of my head, so it cradled my head.
  • Your favorite healthy snacks that can be easily packed: nuts and seeds, dried fruit, granola, jerky, dark chocolate (for a treat), tea, etc.


Recovery stays can be pretty boring especially if you are confined to a hotel room all day. Some entertainment to pass time and keep your mind off of your recovery can be a huge help.

  • Books or magazines
  • Sudoku or crossword puzzles
  • A deck of cards
  • Cell phone
  • iPod
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Headphones
  • Something to write in, such as a diary or journal
  • Glasses if you wear them
  • USB drive (if your surgeon will provide you with photos and/or video)


  • Prescription and non-prescription meds – in original containers
  • Your surgeon may ask you to bring a list with name and dosage of all your current medications including prescribed, herbal, and over the counter drugs. More likely, they will ask you to stop taking non-essential supplements and over the counter drugs at least 2 weeks prior to your surgery date. NEVER stop taking prescription medications unless your doctor and/or surgeon ask you to.

Vitamin and mineral supplements

Chances are you have consulted your medical team about the non-prescription supplements you have been taking. You probably know which vitamins and minerals you are allowed to take after the surgery. Packing these can give your recovery a headstart.

  • Vitamin C: enhances wound healing. You should check with your surgeon, but typically it is ok to take 2-3 grams a day. I recommend liposomal form because it is 100% absorbed. You can find this and many other things mentioned here on FULLSCRIPT.
  • Probiotics are known to promote healing, replenish gut flora after harsh antibiotic use, and decrease the chances of developing a hospital-acquired infection (HAI). The probiotic I recommend is Megaspore. You can purchase this HERE. The patient direct code to purchase from Microbiome Labs is: Vibrant
  • Foods that reduce inflammation, which is very common after surgery: green leafy vegetables, bok choy, celery, beats, broccoli, blueberries, pineapple, salmon, bone broth, walnuts, coconut oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, turmeric, ginger (you wouldn’t pack these things, but you can eat them after surgery at your hotel or recovery center.
  • Systemic enzymes: can help prevent over-production of scar tissue. Using systemic enzymes will help prevent disfiguring scar tissue, formation of seromas, etc. They are excellent for preventing striped-looking scaring from liposuction. They also help clean up any debris in the body so they are beneficial for recovery in general. You can find them on FULLSCRIPT. I always advise starting off very low and slow with these because if you have gut pathogens or lyme they can trigger a herxheimer reaction.
  • Constipation: You WILL experience this after surgery so it is best to have some things on hand to start using immediately after surgery. Things that are known to promote peristalsis/bowel movements are: Magnesium sulfate or magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide to bowel tolerance, aloe vera, smooth move tea, castor oil, vitamin c to bowel tolerance, Vitality Capsules, probiotics, and if all else fails, Milk of Magnesia. And STAY HYDRATED to support bowel movements. Sometimes it takes a number of supplements to get things moving again. Sitting in a squatted position can stimulate peristalsis as well.
  • Swelling/bruising: Arnica and Bromelain. You can find these on FULLSCRIPT.

Leave at Home

Hospitals and hotels will not be liable for any lost or stolen personal belongings while you are there for surgery and recovery. Therefore it is recommended to leave valuable items at home.

  • Expensive watches
  • Expensive sunglasses
  • Jewelry
  • Other valuables

Being away from the comforts of your own home and familiarity for a surgery can be stressful. It can be even more stressful to travel outside of the country for this procedure. Make sure you have the things you need to make you feel more at home, including things that you typically use daily. Having these things with you will make a big difference.

Relax and breathe because this will soon be behind you you'll be on the lighter side, healing your body.

Back to blog