How Long After a Rhinoplasty Before I Can Resume Activity?

I am interested in rhinoplasty but I am an avid diver. How long before I can go diving again?

Doctor Answers 27

Resuming activity after rhinoplasty

My guidelines for resuming activity after rhinoplasty are as follows:

1) Light activity (walking, normal daily activities): 1 day after surgery

2) Moderate-Heavy activity (running, cycling, yoga, swimming, etc.): 10-14 days after surgery

3) Contact sports or activities in which pressure may be placed on the nose (basketball, football, diving, etc.): 8 weeks after surgery, to give the nasal bones time to heal. 

Before considering diving, it is important to make sure that you are able to equilibrate the pressure in your ears. After rhinoplasty there can be a few week period of nasal congestion which can make this process challenging.  


Dr. Mehta

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Resuming normal activities and exercise after a rhinoplasty

At Profiles, we discuss your post-operative care and routine in great depth prior to your surgery in order to address all your concerns.

A couple of relevant points for you are that post-operatively you will find that for a few days your nose is swollen and congested. After that initial period, we try to minimize the possibility of trauma to your newly operated nose, or bleeding from your nose. As such, we tell our patients to avoid sniffing after surgery and to avoid blowing your nose if possible.

Sniffing generally will not relieve the sensation of blockage - it will only aggravate it because the suction created on the inside will cause more swelling. Not only will this aggravate the swelling, but also it may cause infection, bleeding, or the accumulation of scar tissue inside the nose.

If a turbinate resection is part of your nasal procedure, bleeding can occur from this area for up to six weeks after your surgery. Therefore, your exercise regimen needs to be curtailed at least to some extent for the first few weeks following surgery.

Upper body exercise is especially prohibited, as it is more likely to cause turbinate bleeding. No strenuous athletic activity for one month, including swimming, jogging, aerobics, etc.

And as for your specific concern, we recommend no diving to our patients for two months. We obviously wouldn’t want you to have a nose bleed while you’re in the water. Can you imagine the sharks?

Peyman Solieman, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

When can I resume my normal activities?

Thank you for your question. Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you may be able to return to work within 7 to 10 days after surgery. Most normal activities including exercise can usually be resumed within three weeks.

It will be a few months before you can expose your reshaped nose to direct sunlight. Your nose will be sensitive during this time, and you must be conscientious about using a sunblock to protect your skin. If the bones of your nose were altered, it may be a number of weeks before you can wear glasses without special support such as tape. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 
Double board certified
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Diving after rhinoplasty

Recovery after rhinoplasty will vary based on the person, characteristics of the nasal tissues and what was done during surgery. The amount of downtime varies greatly as well.

Return to work and social activities varies greatly based on the person. Patients tend to feel well within a few days after rhinoplasty although they have the splints in place, may have some swelling, and feel congested. There does not tend to be a lot of pain following rhinoplasty so most patients are able to do light activities like reading, typing, walking, etc. Depending on what was done during surgeries, patients may need to avoid the use of glasses for 4-6 weeks to allow adequate healing to take place. Additionally, some surgeons may have preference for avoiding certain foods, blowing the nose, etc. Typically, somewhere between 4-6 weeks, you can return to strenuous activities including exercise. Around this point in recovery, you should also be able to return to diving. However, you may notice that your ears pop more similar to flying-this is due to resolving swelling of the internal nasal passages. Use of a nasal decongestant prior to diving can help prevent or relieve this problem. You should clarify with your surgeon what restrictions you have and when you can return to normal and strenuous activities.

Jamil Ahmad, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Activities After Rhinoplasty

My recommendation for most sports and high impact activities (running and jumping) is to allow 6 weeks for tissue healing and for bones to heal.

Specifically for SCUBA diving, ability to easily re-equilibrate is essential; allow 6 weeks for swelling in membranes to diminish adequately.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

At least 6 weeks

The initial swelling will subside in a couple of weeks to a month, then residual swelling may last for up to a year or so. I recommend patients avoid exercising for about 6 weeks, and this includes swimming. Of course you should ask your surgeon for their advice as it may be different.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Resuming Activity After Rhinoplasty

In general, I allow of my patients to resume most daily activities a week after surgery at which removal of  the splints are done. However, doing most physical activities and increasing your heart rate more than 100, usually patients need to wait 3 to 4 weeks. For activities such as diving, one should wait 6 to 8 weeks .

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

When can I dive after rhinoplasty?

After rhinoplasty there is some swelling on the inside of the nose that leads to intermittent congestion. The degree of congestion can vary from person to person and can be improved with saline spray and other conservative measures to reduce swelling, such as sleeping with your head elevated. With diving, it is essential to be able to re-equilibrate the pressure in your ears. After rhinoplasty, Dr. De Silva recommends waiting 6-weeks before diving.

Julian De Silva, MD
London Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Activity after rhinoplasty

I would generally recommend easy walks right away; aerobic exercise/heavy lifting 3 weeks; contact sports or SCUBA 6 weeks.

Laxmeesh Mike Nayak, MD
Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Wait 6 weeks after rhinoplasty to resume scuba diving.

Six weeks is probably enough time to ensure any trauma suffered by scuba diving would be tolerated by the post-operative nose. 

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.