Rhinoplasty Travel and Activities 2-3weeks Post Op?

Im thinking of getting rhinoplasty done but i have a holiday booked 2-3 weeks after in barbados. its a 9h flight and I know sun exposure needs to be minimised and minimise contact sports and activities, but would it be suitable for me to go if i manage to reduce my sun exposure by wearing lots of sunscreen and hats and i would like to do some snorkelling and swimming but can I swim 2-3 weeks post op? Is flight time also a factor i should consider?

Doctor Answers 9

Activity level after rhinoplasty

When I have out of town patients, I prefer them to stay for at least 6 days so I can remove their nasal cast and dressings. While bleeding is relatively uncommon it can happen so I like to make myself available to my patients should this happen. In terms of sun exposure I advise no sooner than 6 weeks and at that time nothing less than SPF 30 for the entire face. This goes the same for your water activities. You may have real problems with equilibration secondary to the internal swelling near your eustachian tubes. I always recommend at least 1 week and preferably two before airplane flights and even tell patients to use a nasal decongestant like Afrin or Neosynephrine 30 minutes prior to flight for the same 6 week period. 

Rochester Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Ask your surgeon

I don't think it's a good idea to travel so soon after your surgery, particularly if you'll be out in the sun all day. I recommend patients don't swim for at least 6 weeks after surgery. However, it's best if you ask your surgeon.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Sun and rhino

In general, your nose has less natural protection from the sun right after rhinoplasty. All the tissue was just elevated off of the internal structure of the nose, including the bone and cartilage, and blood vessels were coagulated in order to do this. There fore we weakened the nose's natural defense since we weakened its blood supply. This blood supply grows back , but it can take quite a bit of time to happen. In the first 6 weeks, your nose is less naturally resistant to UV rays and is more likely to burn and get discolored. Also, since your nose is mostly numb early on, its less likely that you are to notice the problem until its too late. I recommend you stay out of the sun as much as possible in the first 6 weeks after surgery. If you are in the sun for short periods of time, stay in the shade, and wear a big hat and a good sunblock. Do not wear sun glasses in the first 6 weeks, or any glasses for that matter, if osteotomies were performed, (breaking of the nasal bones). You can get your nose wet as soon as the splint comes off, but I would be careful about chlorinated pools early on until the incision is fully healed an more mature, as the chlorine can irritate the incision. The gym and anything that increases you blood pressure will increase the swelling of your nose and delay your healing time. I recommend 6 weeks for this as well. Sometimes it can take longer for your skin to mature, even a year and more in some cases. I suggest that you wear sun block for at least a year every day while out in the sun.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Travel

In general, since the majority of my patients who come for secondary rhinoplasty are from around the world, I have them stay in Dallas for at least a week post operatively so I can remove all of their sutures and splints. I have them take a nasal decongestant like Afrin for take off and landings and for the first 3-4 weeks. I do not recommend my patients to do snorkeling, scuba diving, or swimming for at least a month post operatively.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Travel after rhinolasty

Travel at that time frame is fine. Swimming is fine. I would avoid a lot of direct sun and probably wouldn't dive/snorkel. I have patients refrain from strenuous activity for a month after surgery. You might think about reversing the order and doing the rhinolasty after the trip if your worried or want to be more active. Best, Dr K

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews

Travel After Rhinoplasty

Though I advise patients that this type of activity would generally be ok, everyone has different protocols that they should follow. It's important to speak with your plastic surgeon to understand if this is ok for you.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Vacation Plans After Rhinoplasty

Hi MissyB786-

Travel a week or so after rhinoplsty would be fine. Strenuous activity should be avoided, as well as things such as a snorkel mask or lifting heavy luggage. Recooperating by lounging poolside or under the cabana would be great, but anything more active could compromise you final result. As always, discuss this with your surgeon.

Happy Holiday.


Dr. Kaniff

Thomas E. Kaniff, MD, FACS
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Rhinoplasty Travel and Activities 2-3 weeks Post Op?

I agree with Dr. Fleming. The travel is not an issue as it should be safe to fly at that point. However, even though you will wear a hat and sunscreen you will be getting significant sun exposure. You will also be engaged in some very strenuous activity and you'll be wearing a mask that puts significant pressure on your recently operated nose. It would be best to go forward with either the surgery or your vacation but I cannot recommend both. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Barbados Holiday 2-3 Weeks after Rhinoplasty

Either revise the timing of your surgery and holiday or cancel one of them. Strenuous physical activity with probable sun exposure and the risk of getting hit in the nose does not make sense 2-3 weeks after a surgical procedure that will affect your appearance for the rest of your life.

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