I am scheduled to have an open rhinoplasty to slightly refine my nasal tip. Is there a certain amount of time I am supposed to wait before flying on an airplane, exercising, or even being intimate with my significant other?
How Soon After Rhinoplasty Can I Fly or Exercise?
Doctor Answers (48)
Intimacy, Exercise, and Flying After Rhinoplasty
Let's save the best for last. Patients may fly 6-7 days following rhinoplasty. Patients may begin light walking at 4-7 days, but wait about 18-21 days before vigorous exercise.
Based on the previous two time periods, you are in the best "position" to determine when you can be intimate. My patients are allowed to "make love" after 10 days, but they must wait 18-21 days for vigorous "sex".
Make sure that you follow your surgeons instructions. Enjoy your new nose and everything else. Be well.
Exercise ok 6 weeks after Rhinoplasty
Every doctor is different, but I suggest 6 weeks for exercise. Intimacy is about being careful, so you can have fun earlier if you are careful. Concern for flying is about dryness. Be sure to humidify your nose frequently during your flight.
Rhinoplasty recovery time
With an open rhinoplasty that does not require nasal packing, flying is safe immediately. I ask patients to refrain from strenuous exercise for a week to avoid sweating the nasal splint off, and to avoid swelling. After that, I place no restrictions other than avoiding significant nasal trauma from activities such as contact sports.
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Flying in 2 weeks, exercise in 3 weeks
We generally let our patients....
- Fly in one week if they must, but I prefer 10 days to 2 weeks
- Get on an elliptical machine in 3 weeks
- Run in 3-4 weeks as long as it does not hurt. A lot of pressure transmits up to your nose when you plant your foot.
Flying After Rhinoplasty
Many of my patients are from all around the U.S.A. I allow my patients to fly within 7-10 days after I perform a rhinoplasty. We like to take out their internal nasal splints and make sure that they have nasal spray such as an Afrin type spray for middle ear decompression during take off and landing. One needs to also know there will be more swelling when flying after rhinoplasty for up to 3 months.
Exercise, Activity and Flying after Rhinoplasty.
The main reason to limit exercise, activity and flying after rhinoplasty is to limit the swelling which could prolong recovery and to prevent a nose bleed. Nose bleeds typically occur within the first 24 hours, and then at days 7- 10 after the surgery, when the clot / scab comes off any incisions inside the nose. So, I do not have my patients fly or travel extensively for 48 hours after the rhinoplasty. They can travel, and many have flown back to their homes on days 3,4 and 5. Activity should be limited again for days 7-10. If they have to fly on days 7-10, they are to take Afrin nasal spray one hour before the flight.
Once the cast comes off, the swelling typically increases for a short period of time. So when is it OK to return to activity? I tell my patients to wait another 1 - 2 weeks after the cast comes off and then to proceed with activity slowly. If there is pain, throbbing, or pressure, then stop exercising and wait another 5 days. Repeat as necessary until you can exercise without pain, pressure or throbbing.
Exercise after Rhinoplasty
Our primary concerns with this are the potential for bleeding which are greatest within the first 24 hours and at 7-10 days after surgery. Therefore, physical exertion which can raise your blood pressure should be strictly avoided during this period.
In regards to physical contact, this depends on what was done. A reconstructive rhinoplasty with bone grafts and cartilage grafts requires greater protection than a simple tip rhinoplasty.
My general rule is to use the week number as the number of miles/hr you would set on a treadmill. For example:
Week 1 = 1 mph
Week 2 = 2 mph
Week 3 = 3 mph
But the most important thing is to ask you surgeon.
Limitations after Rhinoplasty
Restrictions after rhinoplasty generally are there to prevent bleeding in the post-operative period. For most surgery, problems with bleeding are usually encountered 7-10 days after the procedure. This is when increased activity can cause a clot to break off a partially healed vessel. These activities include things like nose blowing, strenuous lifting, intimacy, and exercise. We usually allow return to full activity after 2 weeks. Obviously, if there are any issues, that time period is extended.
Flying can be safe after 2 weeks, although we usually recommend waiting 3-4 weeks. The main reason for this recommendation is to avoid being at 30,000 feet if you do happen to have a nose bleed. Pressure changes and dry air can also increase the risk of problems.
Finally, exercise at 2 weeks can sometimes promote temporary increases in swelling. If that occurs, then just dial down the exertion and taper your activity according to how it affects the nose. Nothing permanent will occur if you do happen to swell.
No flying for 1 week, no exercise for 2 weeks
We ask our patients to delay any air travel for a minimum of 7 days after rhinoplasty. No exercise for a full 2 weeks; during the 3rd week patients start with a gentler work out to return to "full force" activity after 3 weeks. The same applies for heavy lifting etc.
For your final recommendations, please refer to the preferences of your rhinoplasty surgeon as he/she may differ from our routine.
Flying after rhinoplasty
With regards to the length of surgery and also the length of the flight, it is important to get up and walk frequently and also drink a lot of fluids to decrease the risk of a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot on the leg or thigh) and pulmonary embolism (blood clot dislodges and travels to the heart). Both of these are extremely rare complications after nasal surgery but serious.
When planning your travel after surgery, it is important to discuss this with your surgeon as they will have recommendations regarding the timing and how long they require you to stay 'in town' following surgery.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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