Important points of flying after rhinoplasty

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quick overview of flying after rhinoplasty Here is a quick overview of flying after rhinoplasty: main risks associated with flying too soon after rhinoplasty Here are some of the main risks associated with flying too soon after rhinoplasty: To avoid these risks, surgeons typically recommend waiting at least 2 weeks after surgery before flying. This […]

quick overview of flying after rhinoplasty

Here is a quick overview of flying after rhinoplasty:

  • Wait at least 2 weeks before flying after surgery, which allows initial healing. Flying too early can increase swelling and bleeding risk.
  • Drink plenty of water and use a nasal saline spray to moisturise nasal passages. The dry air on flights can cause crusting and discomfort if nasal passages are dry.
  • Don’t blow your nose forcefully when flying, as the pressure changes can displace healing tissues. Gentle sniffing and dabbing are better.
  • Cold compresses and acetaminophen can help relieve any pain or pressure during the flight.
  • An eyemask and pillow can allow you to rest more comfortably on the flight.
  • Get up slowly and move your head carefully when standing to avoid lightheadedness. The cabin pressure changes can sometimes cause this.
  • Arrive early and request extra time during airport security as you may set off metal detectors from surgical implants. Carry documentation about your surgery.
  • Check with your surgeon, but most rhinoplasty patients can resume flying 2 weeks post-op, provided they take steps to minimize discomfort.

main risks associated with flying too soon after rhinoplasty

Here are some of the main risks associated with flying too soon after rhinoplasty:

  • Increased swelling: The pressure changes in flight can cause swelling in the nose and face to worsen, potentially affecting healing.
  • Bleeding: Flying shortly after surgery raises the chances of nose bleeds, as the nasal tissue is still fragile.
  • Pain: Changes in air pressure may cause pain or discomfort in healing nasal bones and tissues.
  • Blood clots: Sitting still for long periods raises the risk of developing blood clots in the legs, a dangerous complication.
  • Infection: Flying can expose you to more germs, which could lead to infection if the nose is still healing.
  • Dislodging of implants: The turbulence jostling could shift surgical implants before they fully integrate.
  • Disrupting incisions: Air pressure changes might disrupt delicate internal stitching during the surgery.
  • Need for revision surgery: Increased risks above make a second revision surgery more likely if complications arise.

To avoid these risks, surgeons typically recommend waiting at least 2 weeks after surgery before flying. This allows adequate initial healing time. Be sure to get clearance from your doctor before planning any flights after your procedure.

Precautions for travelling by plane after nose surgery

Here are some recommended precautions when travelling by plane after nose surgery:

  • Wait at least 2 weeks before air travel to allow initial healing. Discuss timing with your surgeon.
  • Keep nasal passages moist with saline spray. The dry cabin air can cause crusting in the healing nose.
  • Avoid forceful nose-blowing. Gently dab or sniff instead if needed to equalize pressure.
  • Use a humidifier in your home and at the destination to prevent nasal dryness.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and during the flight.
  • Bring cold packs, pain medication, and nasal moisturizers in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t lift heavy luggage. Ask for assistance stowing bags.
  • Move your head carefully and get up slowly to prevent lightheadedness.
  • Pack anti-nausea medication in case pressure changes cause nausea.
  • Travel with a companion who can assist you if needed.
  • Keep documentation of your surgery with you in case questions arise at airport security.
  • Wear a face mask to protect against germs on the plane.
  • Avoid alcohol or sedatives that could thin the blood and increase swelling.

Take it easy after arrival and continue following your surgeon’s post-op instructions closely. Notify your doctor if you experience worsened symptoms after the flight. Careful planning and preparation can minimize risks and discomfort when flying after nose surgery.

Necessary care during and after travel

If for any reason you have to travel or fly after nose surgery, be sure to pay attention to the following:

  • Use humidifiers at home and at your destination to prevent nasal/sinus dryness. The low humidity in flight can cause discomfort.
  • Administer nasal saline spray frequently while flying and for a few days to keep nasal passages moisturized.
  • Take a pain reliever like acetaminophen if you experience discomfort during the flight from pressure changes.
  • Don’t blow your nose forcefully for at least 2 weeks post-op. Gently dab and sniff instead.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before and during travel to stay hydrated. Dehydration worsens swelling.
  • Apply cold, damp cloths to your face and nose if you notice increased swelling after flying.
  • Keep your head elevated using pillows if lying down to encourage drainage and reduce swelling.
  • Follow your surgeon’s instructions for cleaning incisions/splints to prevent infection.
  • Avoid alcohol and blood thinners a few days before and after travel, as they can increase swelling and bleeding risks.
  • Take it easy for a day after travel before resuming normal activity.
  • Notify your surgeon promptly if you experience increased pain, bleeding, headaches or other concerning symptoms after flying.


Why can’t you fly after nose surgery?

Flying too soon after rhinoplasty surgery can increase risks like nose bleeds or disrupted internal stitches from air pressure changes. Most surgeons recommend waiting at least 2 weeks before air travel.

Can I travel 2 weeks after a nose job?

Many surgeons allow air travel 2 weeks after rhinoplasty provided you take proper precautions like using nasal spray, cold packs and moving carefully. Discuss with your doctor first.

How many days after rhinoplasty can I go out?

You can resume light outdoor activities like short walks after about 3-5 days. Avoid crowded places for 2 weeks to reduce infection risk. Strenuous activities should wait 4-6 weeks.

Can I fly 2 weeks after sinus surgery?

Yes, most patients can fly 2 weeks after sinus surgery as long as they follow precautions like humidifying the air, not blowing the nose forcefully, and using saline spray.

Can I fly 1 week after rhinoplasty?

Flying after only 1 week is not recommended as it is generally too early and can disrupt healing. Wait the full 2 weeks for safety.

Can I feel lightheaded on the plane after having a rhinoplasty?

Some patients do experience lightheadedness after rhinoplasty due to cabin pressure changes affecting circulation. Get up slowly and hydrate well

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