Are There Risks in Flying After Rhinoplasty?

I'm planning to have a Rhinoplasty augmentation overseas. However, I've read on the newspaper before that someone's Breast augmentation collapsed in the airplane due to the high pressure or some sort. I'm wondering whether there is a possible chance of that happening with Rhinoplasty augmentation.

Doctor Answers 18

How long after rhinoplasty can I fly?

We have many out of town and international patients- the amount of time depends on how fast the incisions in the nose heal.  A week is usually enough, and if they've had turbinate or septal surgery 2 weeks.  Spray your nose with Afrin 30 minutes before take off and landing and you should be fine.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Flying after Rhinoplasty

We have many rhinoplasty patients from  other states or out of the country who return home one week after surgery without problems. Nasal sprays and chewing gum minimize sinus and ear congestion secondary to residual nasal swelling. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Flying after rhinoplasty

There are no real risks of flying after rhinoplasty, but it is important to make sure that you are healing appropriately prior to leaving your surgeon. It is also important that there is no infection present. It is not a bad idea to carry a bottle of Afrin with you on the airplane should you have a nosebleed. Your nose will remain slightly swollen because of the lack of air pressure for the first few hours during and after the plane flight.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Flying after Rhinoplasty

The issue is pressure changes when flying, in particular, upon descent. I usually require my patients to be available for two weeks after any cosmetic surgery. Regarding rhinoplasty, the two issues are pressure discomfort and potential nose bleeding. Your ability to 'pop your ears' can be affected by rhinoplasty. This can lead to ear and facial discomfort during flight. Bleeding from you nose is a risk but after two weeks, is very unlikely.

If you must fly, I recommend using a nasal spray decongestant. Use three sprays into each nostril, three times/day, for no more than 3 days. Begin one day before your flight. Do not use the spray until 5-7 days have past from your last application. This will prevent the rebound congestion seen in over use of these over-the-counter preparations. Always, consult with you facial plastic surgeon prior to use.

Randall Latorre, MD
Tampa Facial Plastic Surgeon

Air travel after nasal surgery

Generally, one should wait at least 2 weeks following nasal surgery before flying. The main issues which may occur during air travel are

  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Infection

If you are still in the early recover period after rhinoplasty surgery, many airlines will not let you board the plane. If you still have a nasal cast, many will require a doctor's note to board the plane.

Speak with your rhinoplasty surgeon to determine when air travel is appropriate for you. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Flying after rhinoplasty


The issue that may arise when flying after rhinoplasty is an increase in swelling. Nothing inside your nose will collapse. I recommend waiting a minimum of two weeks before flying after rhinoplasty. If you fly before that time it is likely you will experience swelling. Hope this helps answer your question. Thank you, and best of luck.

Dr. Nassif

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Flying following rhinoplasty

I like to have my patients around for at least a week prior to flying home or to convalesce. The risks of air travel following rhinoplasty are mostly related to changes of pressure and equalization. You will likely have some congestion and nasal edema which can effect your sinuses and eustachian tubes, but simple precautions like an over the counter nasal decongestant spray should be able to prevent this problem.

Philip S. Schoenfeld, MD, FACS
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

African American Rhinoplasty

I don't think it's a problem as long as you wait 7 days before flying. Most nasal augmentation material does not contain deflatable materials.

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 274 reviews

Rhinoplasty and flying

I usually like my patients to stay in town until the sutures are removed. This means about 1 week. The main issue with flying is that you may feel a bit congested, so having Afrin may be helpful.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Flying after rhinoplasty

Typically, the only issues after flying involve pressure changes which can result in a nose bleed. The other potential issue is if you have swelling inside your nose for example if you had septal surgery at same time, you may have difficulties clearing your ears with the pressure changes on the plane. I typically recommend that my patients not fly for at least a week after surgery and up to two weeks in some cases. This varies from physician to physician.

If you absolutely must fly shorty after a rhinoplasty, I would spray your nose with afrin before you get on the plane and before descent to help keep your ears clear and minimize chances of nose bleeds. I hope this information helps.

By the way there are two superb physicians in Toronto: Dr. David A. F. Ellis and Dr. Peter Adamson.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.