Can I fly 3 days after my Rhinoplasty?

My surgeon will be performing a rhinoplasty, septoplasty, and turbinate reduction. I am 20-year-old healthy female. I live in California but would like to fly home to AZ after my procedure. It is a 50 min flight. I am very afraid that it may not be safe or make cause damage or delay the healing process.

Doctor Answers 9

Flying after rhinoplasty

It is best to avoid flying for at least a week after surgery. If any issues arise during that week, you would be in town and these can be simply addressed. This is more difficult if you have left the city. While a 1 hour flight is very short and should be fine, there are risks including a nosebleed. You should be very careful with carrying luggage and with others around you as well to avoid injury. Ultimately, it's best that you speak with your surgeon before you make your decision. Good luck to you.

Glendale Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Flying after nasal surgery

The likelihood of nasal bleeding increases with the degree of internal correction.  In your case, with septoplasty and turbinectomy, I would advise you to stay in town for 6-7 days. In my practice, we see many patients that fly in from out of town for nasal surgery, we request that they stay in town for about a week at which time the nasal splint in removed and they are free to return home.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Why not drive rather than fly 3 days after rhinoplasty?

Dear marefi in Irvine, California There are 2 problems with flying.  One is the potential for a nosebleed because of pressure changes.  I think even a riskier proposition is the chance of being jostled and possible injury to your nose.  Generally, people are advised to not travel by air until 7-8 days after surgery.  Remember, you are having turbinate reduction and that has a greater potential for bleeding than either rhinoplasty or septoplasty.  Frankly, flights are so crowded and people are pushing and shoving and placing their luggage in overhead bins, I think you have to look at the risks.  Of course, be sure to wear your protector and that will give you some element of protection.  Best wishes, Robert Kotler, MD, FACS Over 4,500 nasal procedures performed

Robert Kotler, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 83 reviews


Dear marefi, I have many patients who travel from out of state/country to have rhinoplasty at my office and they can fly home after the splint removal on day seven. I would speak with your surgeon regarding what his/her personal post-operative instructions are. If you do travel you will want to be careful and avoid anyone bumping you, watch the overhead bins and make sure your surgeon has an affiliate in Arizona in case you need any post operative follow up care. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Flying on a plane after rhinoplasty

Dear marefi,
  • I agree that the flight is short, the main risk is a nosebleed that does not stop
  • The decision is ultimately up to your surgeon and what they recommend
  • You might want to take a bottle of Afrin with you on the plane (it shrinks blood vessels) in case you have a nosebleed
Best,Dr. Nima

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Flying 3 days after a rhinoplasty procedure

In our practice, we ask patients to refrain from flying for at least a week after the procedure. A short flight that you are describing should not be a big issue, but so is best to talk to your operative surgeon.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Flying 3 Days after Rhinoplasty

Although I usually tell my patients to wait for 6 days after surgery before flying I have many times made exceptions for short flights. Having said that, follow the instructions of your surgeon.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Flying after Septoplasty, Rhinoplasty and Turbinate Reduction

In my practice I usually recommend refraining from flying for about 7-8 days, but there is no hard rule that requires this. Long flights can dry the inside of the nose and cause crusting, bleeding and discomfort for patients. This is especially true for international flights. A short flight will likely be well tolerated by you and should not result in any significant damage or delay in your recovery. Ask your surgeon for advice and permission to fly before scheduling your trip. There maybe other significant reasons to suggest that you wait and your physician is in the best position to recommend what you should do. Best wishes. 

Fred J. Bressler, MD, FACS
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Flying after rhinoplasty

The actual flight should not be a problem.  It may take several weeks before the nasal bones are well healed, so it is important to be very careful during this time.  All surgeons are have different protocols regarding postoperative care.  It is important to discuss all of these concerns with your surgeon prior to the procedure.

Jarrod Little, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.