I am interested in rhinoplasty but I am an avid diver. How long before I can go diving again?
How Long After a Rhinoplasty Before I Can Resume Activity?
Doctor Answers 26
Resuming activity after rhinoplasty
My guidelines for resuming activity after rhinoplasty are as follows:
1) Light activity (walking, normal daily activities): 1 day after surgery
2) Moderate-Heavy activity (running, cycling, yoga, swimming, etc.): 10-14 days after surgery
3) Contact sports or activities in which pressure may be placed on the nose (basketball, football, diving, etc.): 8 weeks after surgery, to give the nasal bones time to heal.
Before considering diving, it is important to make sure that you are able to equilibrate the pressure in your ears. After rhinoplasty there can be a few week period of nasal congestion which can make this process challenging.
Resuming normal activities and exercise after a rhinoplasty
At Profiles, we discuss your post-operative care and routine in great depth prior to your surgery in order to address all your concerns.
A couple of relevant points for you are that post-operatively you will find that for a few days your nose is swollen and congested. After that initial period, we try to minimize the possibility of trauma to your newly operated nose, or bleeding from your nose. As such, we tell our patients to avoid sniffing after surgery and to avoid blowing your nose if possible.
Sniffing generally will not relieve the sensation of blockage - it will only aggravate it because the suction created on the inside will cause more swelling. Not only will this aggravate the swelling, but also it may cause infection, bleeding, or the accumulation of scar tissue inside the nose.
If a turbinate resection is part of your nasal procedure, bleeding can occur from this area for up to six weeks after your surgery. Therefore, your exercise regimen needs to be curtailed at least to some extent for the first few weeks following surgery.
Upper body exercise is especially prohibited, as it is more likely to cause turbinate bleeding. No strenuous athletic activity for one month, including swimming, jogging, aerobics, etc.
And as for your specific concern, we recommend no diving to our patients for two months. We obviously wouldn’t want you to have a nose bleed while you’re in the water. Can you imagine the sharks?
Diving after rhinoplasty
Return to work and social activities varies greatly based on the person. Patients tend to feel well within a few days after rhinoplasty although they have the splints in place, may have some swelling, and feel congested. There does not tend to be a lot of pain following rhinoplasty so most patients are able to do light activities like reading, typing, walking, etc. Depending on what was done during surgeries, patients may need to avoid the use of glasses for 4-6 weeks to allow adequate healing to take place. Additionally, some surgeons may have preference for avoiding certain foods, blowing the nose, etc. Typically, somewhere between 4-6 weeks, you can return to strenuous activities including exercise. Around this point in recovery, you should also be able to return to diving. However, you may notice that your ears pop more similar to flying-this is due to resolving swelling of the internal nasal passages. Use of a nasal decongestant prior to diving can help prevent or relieve this problem. You should clarify with your surgeon what restrictions you have and when you can return to normal and strenuous activities.
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Activities After Rhinoplasty
My recommendation for most sports and high impact activities (running and jumping) is to allow 6 weeks for tissue healing and for bones to heal.
Specifically for SCUBA diving, ability to easily re-equilibrate is essential; allow 6 weeks for swelling in membranes to diminish adequately.
At least 6 weeks
Resuming Activity After Rhinoplasty
When can I dive after rhinoplasty?
Activity after rhinoplasty
I would generally recommend easy walks right away; aerobic exercise/heavy lifting 3 weeks; contact sports or SCUBA 6 weeks.
Wait 6 weeks after rhinoplasty to resume scuba diving.
Six weeks is probably enough time to ensure any trauma suffered by scuba diving would be tolerated by the post-operative nose.
Diving after rhinoplasty
Post-operative restrictions will vary tremendously depending on the surgeon's preference and the techniques used. Generally the vast majority of healing has been achieved by 6 weeks. Diving, however, may involve excessive pressure due to the tight fitting mask as well as the generalized discomfort of pressure from descent. Restrictions may therefore be as much as 12 weeks.