Airplane Travel After a Rhinoplasty

The nose is one of the most prominent features on the face. If you are not satisfied with the appearance of your nose, you may feel that it detracts from your overall aesthetic. Plastic surgeons are capable of sculpting the nose using a variety of techniques to help you achieve the symmetrical look you desire. This procedure is known as rhinoplasty.

It's important that you find the right surgeon when you are considering a nose job. For some, the right surgeon might be a plane ride away. Having your surgery performed away from home can complicate the recovery process. You will need to wait until your surgeon clears you for travel before flying home.


The cabin of an airplane is a unique environment. Barometric changes must occur to allow for proper pressurization of the cabin. These changes will keep you safe, but they can also contribute to swelling.

Your nose will be particularly susceptible to changes in atmospheric pressure in the days following your surgery. You may find that you experience more post-surgical swelling if you decide to fly home soon after your surgery. The longer you wait to fly, the less swelling you will have to cope with following your procedure.

Blood Clots

Any surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia can increase the risk of a blood clot. Your surgeon will have you get up and walk around often in the days following your nose job to help reduce the risk of having a blood clot form in your body.

When you fly, you are sitting for long periods of time. These periods of inactivity can increase your risk of a blood clot. Your surgeon will evaluate your unique medical history to determine when it is safe for you to fly.


Changes in air pressure within the cabin of an airplane can cause you to experience significant discomfort when flying after a rhinoplasty procedure. These pressure changes can increase sinus pressure.

Elevated sinus pressure can agitate the already-traumatized tissue of your nose. You may find that using a saline spray can help alleviate pressure-induced discomfort, but you should be prepared to experience some discomfort when flying home after a rhinoplasty.

Opting to have your nose job performed by a surgeon outside your hometown can be a great way to ensure you look your best. Be sure to discuss your travel plans with your surgeon before booking a return flight if you will rely on airline transportation to get to your surgeon. Reach out to a surgeon, such as William M. Parell, MD, PSC, for more advice.