Does Flying Increase Swelling After Rhinoplasty?

If I fly 1 week after rhinoplasty, will my swelling temporarily increase due to the plane flight?

Doctor Answers 8

Flying will temporarily increase swelling after rhinoplasty

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Yes, there will be temporary edema of the nose after flying in an airplane, but this will not affect the permanent results.  It is acceptable to fly, but advisable to take Afrin nasal spray with you in the event you should have a nosebleed 1 week after the surgery.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Flying Effect On Swelling After Rhinoplasty

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Thank you for an important question as it is often asked by many patients.

Generally, flying at 1 week post-surgery should not cause you an increase in the swelling you will develop after your rhinoplasty because the flight cabin is pressurized.

That said, it does not mean that you should take a general fact for granted; I recommend that you consult with your surgeon who can evaluate your overall medical status to clear you for a safe flight.


The best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Swelling increase after flying after rhinoplasty

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I don't think that at one week after surgery the plane flight itself will significantly change your swelling or ultimate rhinoplasty result. Talk with your surgeon about your plans to make sure there are no other concerns to consider in your situation.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Flying after Rhinoplasty

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I do rhinoplasty surgery on many patients from other states and countries who leave Beverly Hills one week after their operation. Flying in a pressurized aircraft has never compromised the results.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


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Flying is always a risk after surgery, but atmospheric pressure changes are controlled to 8,000 feet elevation on big commercial airlines.  Ask your doctors opinion.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Post Rhinoplasty and Air Travel

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I do a lot of Rhinoplasty patients throughout the United States and abroad and I have never had a complaint of increased swelling due to airplane travel. Commercial airline cabins are pressurized and while you may experience the same as other patients ears plugging etc at take off and landing everything else should be smooth flying. I also do have a lot of patients who travel in private planes and I have had a few patients that were in smaller jets complain of pressure while in mid flight. Once the captains dropped altitude they have discussed that these symptoms were relieved. If flying on a small private airplane you may want to discuss the pressurization with the pilot regarding the paticular aircarft you will be traveling on.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Does Flying Increase Swelling After Rhinoplasty?

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 Yes, we have many out of town and country Rhinoplasty patients and the swelling in the nose will most likely increase while you are flying.  We recommend that our Rhinoplasty patients apply ice (covered with cloth) to the sides of the nose during and after the flight.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Flying after rhinoplasty can cause slight increase in swelling.

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Commercial cabins are pressurized to an altitude of about 7000 feet.  If you were to drive into the mountains to this altitude, there is less pressure from the atmosphere and your body would expand slightly, including your nose.

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.