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 19

How long after rhinoplasty can I fly?

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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
4.7 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Flying after Rhinoplasty

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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 40 reviews

Flying after rhinoplasty

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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.

Flying after Rhinoplasty

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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 Rhinoplasty

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Travel of any type following rhinoplasty can potentially complicate the post-operative course.  In most cases, patients have recovered sufficiently to travel in about seven to ten days following surgery.

            Air travel often involves prolonged periods of immobilization and because of this, patients may be at risk for the development of blood clots in their extremities.  These blood clots, known as DVT’s, can potentially represent a life threatening phenomenon when they occur.

            In addition, nasal congestion can be extremely uncomfortable when patients fly.  For this reason, it’s appropriate to use nasal afrin before taking off and landing.  This maneuver will hopefully minimize nasal edema and relieve nasal congestion.

To avoid complications, it’s important that these issues be discussed with your plastic surgeon.  This will dramatically decrease the potential for complications.

Air travel after nasal surgery

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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.

Flying after rhinoplasty

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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 49 reviews

Flying following rhinoplasty

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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.

African American Rhinoplasty

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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.

Rhinoplasty and flying

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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.

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.