How Long After Rhinoplasty Can I Go Backpacking/rock Climbing/canoeing?

I will be having an open cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty in June, and would like to go on a 3-4 week backpacking trip that involves hiking on mountains, canoeing, and perhaps rock climbing about 30-40 days after the surgery. Is that risky, and if so, what are the risks?

Doctor Answers 10

Anything goes four weeks after rhinoplasty

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After rhinoplasty, or after a nasal fracture for that matter, the nose will be stable and healed well enough to allow any activity that you enjoyed before, even rock climbing. Keep in mind that after nasal surgery the nose can be more easily broken, so use sunscreen and use extra care to avoid an injury and damage to your investment.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Post rhinoplasty activity and exercise.

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Your only risk will be trauma and sunburn. It takes about the same amount of force to break the nose as it did before by 4 weeks. Sunburn will make the nose swell more. Use bullfrog or zinc oxide paste on your nose.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Resume outdoor activities 1 month after rhinoplasty

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It is certainly acceptable to resume hiking, canoeing, and rock climbing one month after the rhinoplasty procedure. You should not have any risks, as long as you are one month out and do not get hit in the nose.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Avoid Contact Sports After Rhinoplasty

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I think its reasonable to return to fairly normal activities a month after surgery. I would however avoid any activities that may result in trauma to the nose itself. Contact or competitive sports would be risky after Rhinoplasty. 

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Limitations after Rhinoplasty

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I advise my patients to avoid strenuous physical activity for 3 weks after surgery and nasal trauma for at least 6 weeks. Enjoy your trip.

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

Exercise after rhinoplasty

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You should be able to go on your trip at that stage after surgery, but I suggest just speaking with your surgeon to make sure that he or she does not have any specific concerns about this.  You may notice some intermittent swelling of the nose during your activity, which is not unusual at an early stage after surgery.  Best wishes, /nsn.

Resuming "Normal" Activities after Nose Surgery

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A lot would depend on what "normal" activities are. By 4-6 weeks there is enough internal scar tissue in place to internally glue and splint the nose in place. However, it will not act like a Hockey mask / helmet and a well aimed powerful blow may well crack the nose along its weakest junctions (natural or the ones your surgeon has created).

So ---- as you are climbing rocks, getting mosquito bitten and teasing the bears just use common sense and do not get hit on the nose.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Recovery after Rhinoplasty

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In most cases, you should be able to return to your recreational activities within 2 to 4 weeks.  However, please be cautious about bumping or injuring your nose.  Good luck.

Rugged Outdoor Activities After Rhinoplasty

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Sounds like the major risks that you will be facing are bears, rapids, falling off a mountain, and poison ivy.  Your nose should be stable one month after your rhinoplasty for your trip.  Have fun and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

That should be ok

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I release my patients to do normal physical activity 3 weeks after rhinoplasty, with any contact sports I recommend waiting at least 6 weeks. 

Samson Lee, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.