While risks of flying after surgery vary from surgery to surgery, immediately getting on an airplane after rhinoplasty causes its own specific problems for patients, which are as follows:
The decreased air pressure in the airplane’s cabin can increase swelling during and after the flight, which might last for a few hours or remain for several weeks. The low air pressure in the cabin also makes you feel uncomfortable during the flight, especially if you have pre-existing sinus problems like allergies.
Airsickness is already a potential side effect of flying, which is caused by motions of the plane. Even if you haven’t so far experienced this problem in your life, you will be likely to have it if you hasten to fly back home after your nose job. The reason is that you are on strong pain medication after surgery, which, when combined with the motion of the plane, might make you feel nauseous and an urge to throw up.
During the first few days after nose surgery, your nose is too sensitive and there is a risk of slight nose bleeds. As dry air is the main cause of nose bleeds, this risk is further heightened by exposing your nose to the dry and recirculating air inside the plane cabin. You might be surprised to hear the humidity of the cabin is around 12 percent, which is lower than most deserts.
The dryness of the air in an airplane is because of the airplane cruises at high altitudes where moisture is very low or nonexistent. You just have air that is constantly recirculated and is highly dry, making a nosebleed, congestion, or nose irritation highly likely for rhinoplasty patients on board.
Besides, there are a lot of germs in recirculating air, which increases the risk of infection in people recovering from surgery.
Putting aside the above-mentioned potential side effects of flying after nose surgery, flying often involves carrying suitcases, rushing from one place to another at airports, fatigue, and the possible sleep disruptions. As your body needs plenty of rest to heal quickly after surgery and you should avoid strenuous activities for at least two weeks post-operatively, air travel shortly after rhinoplasty puts a lot of physical and mental pressure on you, which lengthens your recovery time.