How Soon After Rhinoplasty Can I Fly or Exercise?

I am scheduled to have an open rhinoplasty to slightly refine my nasal tip. Is there a certain amount of time I am supposed to wait before flying on an airplane, exercising, or even being intimate with my significant other?

Doctor Answers 76

Intimacy, Exercise, and Flying After Rhinoplasty

Hi I,

Let's save the best for last. Patients may fly 6-7 days following rhinoplasty. Patients may begin light walking at 4-7 days, but wait about 18-21 days before vigorous exercise.

Based on the previous two time periods, you are in the best "position" to determine when you can be intimate. My patients are allowed to "make love" after 10 days, but they must wait 18-21 days for vigorous "sex".

Make sure that you follow your surgeons instructions. Enjoy your new nose and everything else. Be well.

Dr. P


Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Exercise ok 6 weeks after Rhinoplasty

Every doctor is different, but I suggest 6 weeks for exercise. Intimacy is about being careful, so you can have fun earlier if you are careful. Concern for flying is about dryness. Be sure to humidify your nose frequently during your flight.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Exercising and Flying After Rhinoplasty

It is extremely important to follow the post care procedure instructions provided by your surgeon. Generally, flying is not recommended the first week post surgery due to the congestion and pressure you may experience. Most patients can start to exercise lightly two weeks after surgery. High impact exercise should not be introduced back into your routine for about three weeks after surgery.

Scott Chapin, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Flying in 2 weeks, exercise in 3 weeks

We generally let our patients....

  • Fly in one week if they must, but I prefer 10 days to 2 weeks
  • Get on an elliptical machine in 3 weeks
  • Run in 3-4 weeks as long as it does not hurt.  A lot of pressure transmits up to your nose when you plant your foot.

Stuart H. Bentkover, MD
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Flying After Rhinoplasty

Many of my patients are from all around the U.S.A. I allow my patients to fly within 7-10 days after I perform a rhinoplasty. We like to take out their internal nasal splints and make sure that they have nasal spray such as an Afrin type spray for middle ear decompression during take off and landing. One needs to also know there will be more swelling when flying after rhinoplasty for up to 3 months.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Exercise after Rhinoplasty

Our primary concerns with this are the potential for bleeding which are greatest within the first 24 hours and at 7-10 days after surgery. Therefore, physical exertion which can raise your blood pressure should be strictly avoided during this period.

In regards to physical contact, this depends on what was done. A reconstructive rhinoplasty with bone grafts and cartilage grafts requires greater protection than a simple tip rhinoplasty.

My general rule is to use the week number as the number of miles/hr you would set on a treadmill. For example:

Week 1 = 1 mph

Week 2 = 2 mph

Week 3 = 3 mph

But the most important thing is to ask you surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Limitations after Rhinoplasty

Restrictions after rhinoplasty generally are there to prevent bleeding in the post-operative period. For most surgery, problems with bleeding are usually encountered 7-10 days after the procedure. This is when increased activity can cause a clot to break off a partially healed vessel. These activities include things like nose blowing, strenuous lifting, intimacy, and exercise. We usually allow return to full activity after 2 weeks. Obviously, if there are any issues, that time period is extended.

Flying can be safe after 2 weeks, although we usually recommend waiting 3-4 weeks. The main reason for this recommendation is to avoid being at 30,000 feet if you do happen to have a nose bleed. Pressure changes and dry air can also increase the risk of problems.

Finally, exercise at 2 weeks can sometimes promote temporary increases in swelling. If that occurs, then just dial down the exertion and taper your activity according to how it affects the nose. Nothing permanent will occur if you do happen to swell.

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

No flying for 1 week, no exercise for 2 weeks

We ask our patients to delay any air travel for a minimum of 7 days after rhinoplasty. No exercise for a full 2 weeks; during the 3rd week patients start with a gentler work out to return to "full force" activity after 3 weeks. The same applies for heavy lifting etc.

For your final recommendations, please refer to the preferences of your rhinoplasty surgeon as he/she may differ from our routine.

Best wishes.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Flying and Exercising after a Rhinoplasty

I typically recommend that patients wait at least 48 hours after a rhinoplasty procedure before flying.  Generally speaking this does not tend to be an issue because most patients wait to travel until their splint comes off for vanity reasons.  I ask that my patients refrain from any exercising or heavy lifting for four weeks following their surgery to prevent any increase in post-operative swelling and allow my patients to resume calm sexual activity usually after 2-3 weeks.  I would recommend following your operating surgeon's post-operative protocol and wish you all the best with your new nose!

What To Expect After Rhinoplasty

The first week after surgery you should rest your head in an elevated position to help minimize swelling. You may experience some bleeding, bruising and swelling, but this will subside over a few weeks.
In addition to a nasal splint you will also have some packing inside the nose, which will be removed by your surgeon. Within 10 days after surgery, your swelling should reach its peak and begin to subside. You can apply makeup to conceal any bruising. Some moderate activity can be resumed, but nothing strenuous. Several weeks after the surgery you can resume most of your normal activities.
  • Driving: 5-7 days.
  • Non-contact sports: 3-4 weeks. (This includes jogging, swimming, hiking, etc.)
  • Contact sports: 6 weeks. (This category includes tennis, skiing, football, basketball, etc.)
  • Diving: 8-12 weeks.

M. Azhar Ali, MD, FACS
Bloomfield Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.