Dr. Shermak tells Health the process after plastic surgery and how swelling is pretty common. She brings this to light about Cardi B’s experience on a plane after having liposuction and breast surgery.

Baltimore Board-certified plastic surgeon, Michele Shermak, MD, FACS, tells Health, “The body has a systemic reaction to surgery. The initial reaction is usually the body just kind of holding onto fluids through inflammation for about four days. That’s the first period of swelling, but the second can last about four months.”

Why would Cardi B’s feet swell if she had surgery on her stomach and breasts?

“It’s all gravitational,” Dr. Shermak says. “If we do surgery on the legs, for example, the ankles will swell. If we do surgery on the stomach, the pubic area will swell. If we do surgery on the face, the neck will swell. It’s a continuous body region. Everything is connected. So, because it’s gravitational, the feet are the area that see the most swelling, even for torso procedures.”

Dr. Shermak believes that Cardi has probably been experiencing more swelling while flying because, on a plane, she’s not up and moving around as much. Sitting still for too long can decrease blood circulation in the legs and result in blood clots. “I always tell my patients to wear the seatbelt loose, hydrate well, and try to walk around during the flight,” she says.

Dr. Shermak says it’s important to rest, elevate the area of the body that’s swollen, apply ice packs when sitting or lying down and cut back on sodium.

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