If you are like most conscientious shoppers, then you know that the most convenient option is not always the best option. Quality can be difficult to find, and you sometimes have to travel to get what you are looking for. This is especially true when it comes to rhinoplasty, as finding a specialist who will give you the results you are looking for can be hard to come by locally, depending on where you live. Because of this, many people do travel to surgeons who are states away, seeking the best results possible. If there is one thing you should splurge on, it is surgery, since poor quality work can lead to disappointment that is hard to turn around. But how safe is it to travel following rhinoplasty? Can you safely fly home after your procedure?
The Recovery Period
Right after your rhinoplasty, you are probably not going to feel like doing much of anything, let alone getting on a plane. During the first couple of days of recovery, you should focus on rest and very light activity. You should not attempt travel during this time, as you will be devoting your time to staying comfortable and preventing your nose from sustaining damage.
The initial recovery period for rhinoplasty is usually between 10-14 days, at which point any bruising should be fading and you can return to work. However, plastic surgeons usually recommend waiting at least a week to two weeks following surgery before embarking on air travel, to help keep you safe and ensure your results are not compromised.
Potential Dangers of Flying
The changes in pressure when flying can be a real problem for recent post-operative rhinoplasty patients, due to swelling and congestion in the nose. Facial pain can occur due to the fact that it is much more difficult and risky to “pop” the ears on the plan as the pressure changes quickly. That is not all—nosebleeds are another risk of flying soon after surgery, and the recirculating air in the airplane could put you at greater risk for infection. This is why surgeons are concerned about patients flying before their incisions heal. Finally, pain medication can induce nausea, when combined with the movement of the plane. All of these factors could lead to not only an uncomfortable experience, but potentially to complications and/or poor healing.
What Should You Do?
If you decide to pursue rhinoplasty out of state, then you will want to arrange for a comfortable place to recover for a week or so, such as a hotel or at a friend’s home. It is a good idea to have someone travel with you to assist with your recovery and keep you company during this time. While a hotel might be an added expense of the procedure, it might help you focus on recovery and give you the opportunity to choose a first-rate surgeon.
Is it Worth it?
Traveling for rhinoplasty, much like rhinoplasty itself, is a highly personal decision, and one that is difficult to measure the value of objectively. Many people are so thrilled with their results that it is absolutely worth the expense and inconvenience of travel to have a great experience. For others, that value just might be there. It is up to you to decide how much a quality rhinoplasty could improve your quality of life.
The Right Fit
The plastic surgeon that is right for you might be right in your backyard—or all the way across the country. There are many talented surgeons offering cosmetic nasal surgery in the United States, but it is important to not only choose a surgeon with an impressive track record, extensive training and experience, and impeccable safety standards, but to choose a surgeon with whom you have good rapport and communication. You and your surgeon should share a vision for what you would like to accomplish, and finding a surgeon whom you can trust is vital to success.
Still trying to find the right surgeon? Dr. Stuart Bentkover is a board certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in rhinoplasty, with over 25 years of experience in creating beautiful, natural-looking outcomes for patients. If you would like to schedule a consultation at Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA, call either location today.