Traveling after rhinoplasty: How soon can you fly?

Once the operation and your initial recovery period are over, the big part of your rhinoplasty journey is done. Now you start to prepare to travel back home. But what is traveling after rhinoplasty like? You want to know when and how you can travel after the surgery. Whether you want to take a flight, go on a road trip, or by bus there is a waiting time.

In this article, we will discuss each of these traveling means in detail, how to prepare for a trip after nose surgery, and when is the best to travel after rhinoplasty. 

When can you hit the road after rhinoplasty? Ready, Set, Go:

Wondering when you can get in the car and enjoy a road trip as before after your rhinoplasty procedure? Well, that takes some time. Most surgeons recommend waiting for at least one week before getting back to driving or seating in the car for a road trip.

If you wish to drive yourself, you should know it is absolutely prohibited for the first 3 days after rhinoplasty. This is because of the anesthetic effects. You may continue to feel dizzy or lightheaded for 48 to 72 hours after rhinoplasty surgery. 

For a convenient ride, you better choose the back seat where you have the ability to lie down on the way if needed. Do not forget to take a neck pillow, your pain medications, and your nasal spray. They will make the trip easier for you. The air inside the car should be fresh. Let the air be circulating by opening the windows, every once in a while in case you use air conditioning. 

Is it safe to travel right after rhinoplasty?

It is absolutely safe to travel 72 hours after nose surgery (1). However, it is highly recommended to wait for 7-10 days to do so. This is to make sure the initial recovery time is over. The longer you wait after your nose job, the shorter your healing period, and the faster your swelling will subside. This can greatly impact your final nose shape and your overall appearance.

Flying after rhinoplasty

A common question regarding travel plans after rhinoplasty is about air travel and flights. How long after nose surgery can you fly? Again you can book your flight at least one week after surgery. Yet many rhinoplasty specialists recommend you postpone it for two weeks after the procedure. 

Risks of flying after rhinoplasty  

There are several risks associated with flying after nasal surgery. We would like to remind you that bruising and swelling hit their peak during the first week post-surgery. It is best to wait until the initial bruising and swellings fade away before getting on a plane. This will reduce the risks of complications during and after the flight. The risks of flying after rhinoplasty are:

  • Increased swelling and bruising
  • Risk of infection
  • Nose bleeding
  • Pain

Increased swelling and bruising

This is a quick reminder that the ear and nose are connected. When the cabin air pressure changes and increases, the ears are popped. Due to the ear-nose connection, this pressure is also applied to the nose and results in more nasal swelling that can last between hours to months. In addition to that, an increase in sinus pressure occurs. This is another reason for swelling and discomfort.

Risk of infection

The cabin air is recirculated. This exposes the nasal tissues to airborne bacteria that can cause mild to severe infections. The dryness of the air cabin, also adds up to this issue and makes the nose a perfect place for opportunistic bacteria.  

Nose bleeding

This is a very rare yet possible risk for flying after nose surgery. Nose bleeding is more likely to happen when the patients get on the airplane in the early stages of the recovery and healing process. The nose and the underlying soft tissues are very sensitive and not completely healed during this period, so even a slight amount of pressure can result in bleeding and the re-opening of some wounds inside the nose.


The effects of cabin pressure on the nose and ears cause congestion. This will eventually lead to pain and discomfort in this area. The patient might feel a painful direct pressure applied on their nasal structures and is clogging them. The inflammation of the inner layers of the nose is also another reason for the pain they sense during the flight.

Managing pain and discomfort during the flight

To manage the pain and all the inconveniences inside the airplane after nose surgery, there are a few things you can do such as:

  • Chewing gum or yawning during the takeoff.
  • Use a nasal decongestant before the airplane takes off
  • Take a saline nasal spray to moisturize the nasal cavity
  • Take your pain medications with you
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Do not put or take your luggage in the overhead compartment by yourself

However, the best option always is to consult your nose surgeon and ask for instructions before flying to your destination. 

When is it safe to travel after rhinoplasty?

Even though it is safe to travel seven days after your cosmetic nose surgery, the best way to determine the most suitable time for traveling is to ask your rhinoplasty surgeon. They will give specific instructions for your journey based on your body and your condition.

Usually, 5 to 7 days after the nose job the doctor removes the nasal cast and evaluates the recovery process. According to that, they can estimate the proper timeline for your departure.

Let the initial recovery pass and the body start to heal slowly from this surgical procedure. It will directly affect the final outcome and the length of the healing period. One point to remember is that each body takes a different amount of time to heal.

How to protect your nose during travel?

To protect your new nose from any potential harm during your travel, there are some actions you might want to consider. Depending on the means of travel, you can take different approaches to keeping safe. under every circumstance, do not forget to take your nasal sprays with you. They help balance the air pressure inside and outside the nose and prevent prolonged inflammation. 

For a road trip:

Sit on the back seat with your feet up, use your neck pillow, make sure fresh air is circulating inside the car, make short stops, and walk for better blood flow in your body. Stay hydrated and do not forget to fasten your seat belt

For air travel:

Let the flight attendants know you recently had aesthetic surgery, take your neck pillow with you, drink enough water, and try walking during the flight if possible. 

Undergoing rhinoplasty in Turkey has a huge advantage for international patients when it comes to traveling after rhinoplasty. All-inclusive rhinoplasty packages in Turkey are designed to meet every need of patients. That includes the considerations associated with traveling back. These packages provide a fit-to-fly report to inform the flight attendants the patient has recently had nose surgery and is eligible to fly. This will help them be prepared in case an emergency happens or the patient requires special care. 

Again we would like to remind you of the importance of consulting with your surgeon before any type of travel. 

What to do if you experience problems while traveling after rhinoplasty

You should not travel alone after rhinoplasty. If during your journey any problems happen, the first thing to do is to keep calm and let your company know. If you are on a road trip, try to get to the closest medical center for further action. During the flight, inform the cabin crew. They are trained to handle emergency situations. 

This has been our guide on traveling after rhinoplasty. We hope you found the answers to your question. If you have any more questions or require more information about all-inclusive rhinoplasty packages in Turkey, do not hesitate to contact us via WhatsApp, or fill out this form. We will reach out to you in no time. 


(1) Kanliada, D. “How Safe Is Airline Travel 48 Hours After Open Septo-Rhinoplasty Surgery?” . The Turkish Journal of Ear Nose and Throat 32 (2022 ): 58-61 <>

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