Will Recent High Altitude Travel Affect Recovery After Lower Bleph?

I will be spending 6 days at 9,500 ft above sea level 5 days before returning home and having a lower bleph at sea level. Will the affects of the high altitude increase my risk for bruising and swelling?

Doctor Answers 7

What about travel & high altitude after elective surgery?

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It is important that healing after surgery be allowed to proceed normally. Some facial surgeries take longer than others to safely heal & it is best to be cautious with travel. For example, when on a plane that descends and produces increased pressure in the ears, it is sometimes necessary to 'clear' one's ears and that might produce some added pressures in the nose and midface. Air travel can be "physical":  luggage, long walks in terminals, negotiating a crowded airplane, etc.  High altitudes are sometimes associated with drier air and  lower available oxygen levels and this can sometimes lead to fatigue, headaches, dry noses (or even nosebleed), increased heart rates and other symptoms. So don't push yourself in the first couple of weeks after surgery. 

Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

No problem

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Enjoy your trip and don't worry about the altitude changes. There is no increased risk for bleeding or bruising after high altitude travel.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

High altitude and surgery on eyes

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I do not think that being at high altitude will affect your surgery.  Good luck it should not impact swelling.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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High Altitude travel and Blepharoplasty

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I see no problem for you.  Be sure to discuss this with your Plastic Surgeon so that he can note this in your chart.  Best of luck to you!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
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High-altitude travel and lower blepharoplasty

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 There is no detrimental effects after having traveled to a high altitude prior to  having a  blepharoplasty procedure. There is no additional risks for bruising and swelling due to the high altitude.

William Portuese, MD
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High Altitude Travel before Blepharoplasty

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The scenario you propose (having surgery at sea level after being at altitude) is actually beneficial for you. You should have no detrimental effects. If, however, you increase your hemoglobin and get other similar effects from your stay at altitude, you may actually heal better and faster. If you were going to have your surgery at altitude, I would suggest you wait a little longer before surgery.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Risk of bruising after high altitude trip

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There is no additional risk of bruising as a result of your high altitude travel. Your platelet function and coagulation mechanism will not be affected but your trip. Be sure to avoid antiinflamatories or any herbal medications that might thin your blood but otherwise enjoy your travel.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 113 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.