Is It Bad to Fly 48-72 Hours After Rhinoplasty and Have Another Surgeon Remove Your Splint?

I think I will be flying out of state to have my rhinoplasty (without septoplasty). Part of what is driving up the cost of this procedure for me is the travel accommodations and then there's the idea of having to sit in a hotel room for 6 days alone. I was wondering if it is totally not recommended to fly home 48 hours after the surgery and then have another surgeon remove the splint? I know ideally this shouldn't be done but has anyone every had a patient do this?

Doctor Answers 14

Flying after rhinoplasty

I generally advise my patients to stay in the area for at least one week if possible, and avoid flying for 1-2 weeks if they can. However, under certain circumstances this is not possible, and I will arrange for them to have the cast removed by another physician. Flying prior to the two week period can potentially increase swelling and delay your healing time. It will not likely have an effect on your overall outcome. In general, it is best to relax the first week after your procedure with the head elevated. Overexertion can also cause the nose to swell. Traveling involves a lot of moving around, and it is not always comfortable to be traveling that soon after surgery. I would recommend speaking with your surgeon ahead of time about your post-operative plans. They will be able to provide you with advice, as they may have specific guidelines they would like you to follow. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Flying after rhinoplasty

I do not advise flying only 48 hours after a rhinoplasty. While the risk of a nosebleed is low, the risk is elevated with flying so soon after a surgery. For patients who travel to me for their surgery, I advise them to stay for at least 10 days. This allows me adequate time to remove the splint, and the patient then has two or three days to come see me with questions if necessary. You should ask your surgeon this question directly.

Ryan Greene, MD, PhD
Fort Lauderdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Flying immediately after Rhinoplasty surgery

Most plastic surgeons recommend to avoid travel for at least 1-2 weeks after rhinoplasty surgery. While uncommon, there is a slight risk of bleeding after nasal surgery. Your rhinoplasty surgeon will want to monitor you closely during this immediate recovery period. Patient who fly in for surgery, usually stay in the area for about a week, then return to their home area. Lastly, keep in mind that the surgeon will want to see you typically 1 week, 1 month, and several months after surgery for followup.

Each circumstance and rhinoplasty procedure will vary, so some exceptions might be possible. Your surgeon can best guide you regarding rhinoplasty care. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki


Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Flying 2-3 days after a rhinoplasty

 The plane flight itself will not affect the changes of the nose other than to have some temporary swelling. The important part to recognize  Is that there is no followup with  your original surgeon. Typical followup for rhinoplasty is one week and one month, 3 months, 6 months and a year. It is important to make sure that the internal and external portions of those are healing properly without accumulation of blood, fluid, or infection. Understandably, it is more difficult for out of state and out of town patients.  Is always best to seek out a board-certified facial plastic surgeon with extensive experience in rhinoplasty for your best outcome.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Splint removal by a surgeon other than the operating surgeon can work

I do not believe there are signifiicant risks to the flight itself.  If you were my patient, I would want to remove the splint myself. I strongly believe a big part of an excellent result is the aftercare and monitoring. I personally would be uncomfortable never seeing a patient again after this surgery; I would consider a one week and one month checkup an absolute minimum.

Laxmeesh Mike Nayak, MD
Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 198 reviews

The operating surgeon should manage postoperative care.

I don't believe it's very unsafe to fly several days after rhinoplasty. However, it would be best to have your surgeon available for management of postop convalescence and any problems that might arise from the operation.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Flying after Rhinoplasty

It is not safe to fly for at least 7 days after Rhinoplasty and the biggest risk is that of a serious nosebleed that can occur in a healing nose with significant pressure changes.  Driving 48 hrs after a Rhinoplasty, however, is safe. It is not unusual to have a colleague remove the splint and provide after care.  This is commonly done by consenting professionals.  Contrary to Dr. Kasden's advice, I would recommend you select a Board certified Facial Plastic or Plastic Surgeon that has extensive experience performing Rhinoplasty.

Devinder S. Mangat, MD, FACS
Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Flying after rhinoplasty

Having nose surgery out of state, flying home in 48 hours, and then having another surgeon see you for follow-up involves two issues:  the flying, and the coordination of follow-up.  Swelling after rhinoplasty can sometimes affect the normal drainage of the sinuses, and the pressure changes in the cabin can aggravate this, causing pain.  The dry air in the airplane can also irritate the healing nasal lining, and a crusty dried out nose is more apt to bleed.  You should be safe with the TSA, unless one of the geniuses wants to look under the splint.  Chances are though, you'll be fine.  Regarding the surgeon who will be doing the follow-up, plan ahead.  Set up the post-surgery visit before your surgery.  Surgeons aren't exactly thrilled taking care of someone who paid another surgeon to do the surgery.  It's best to have surgeon A talk to surgeon B on the phone so everyone's on the same page.

Douglas J. Mackenzie, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Itinerant surgery

This is obviously not the best way to go about a rhinoplasty, which I consider among the most challenging of cosmetic procedures.  If however you insist on this plan, I would admonish you to be sure that you go to a board certified plastic surgeon, and plan in advance your post op care with same.  You may not be able to find anyone to accept you.  This is information you need to know BEFORE you make your plan. 

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Flying right after rhinoplasty

You should be fine if you fly right after your rhinoplasty. We would suggest you check with your 'second' surgeon who will take responsibility for your aftercare. He might be happier if he completes the rhinoplasty as well, then you could save money on the travel.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

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.