Flying after surgery

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If you think that surgery will completely cure you and you can carry on with your life right afterward, then you are in most cases wrong. While you might be able to lead a normal life after some time, there are certain precautions that you must take just after the surgery. For instance, some activities, such as flying, right after surgery might be detrimental to your health.

Key points that you should remember when flying after surgery

  • Depending on the surgery that you have had and how much time has passed since the surgery, flying can entail several complications
  • Due to the cabin pressure and other factors, the probability of blood clots forming after surgery is greater
  • Blood clots are dangerous since they can travel to your lungs and block your arteries
  • Always take your doctor’s recommendation in consideration when flying after surgery

Why might flying after surgery cause complications?

Surgical procedures have become normal due to medical advancements and patients around the world are taking to it. Most of the patients prefer that their surgeries are performed by specialized veteran surgeons even if they have to travel abroad for it. Other patients happen to need surgery while abroad on holiday or on a business trip. Post-surgery traveling becomes very crucial since patients are very sensitive after a surgical operation. The article suggests the best ways for traveling after surgery.

Doctors discussing a patient

Whether it is safe to fly or not greatly depends upon the type of procedure that is performed. Flying after small surgeries is rarely dangerous and poses little risk of post-surgical complications. But shortly after major surgery traveling by air can be really detrimental to a person’s health. This can lead to infection, deep vein thrombosis or blood clots.

Flying in a commercial airliner after surgery can be especially dangerous. The cabin pressure is different from the air pressure on the ground, which can lead to a variety of problems. In case of complications you cannot receive proper medical supervision while on the plane. The lack of medical facilities on a commercial flight and the lack of a medical professional with you at such a crucial time can lead to adverse health outcomes. It is always recommended that you consult a doctor before using air travel after surgery.

Furthermore, the airline conducting the flight may not allow you to enter the plane if they think that you aren't well enough. You need to contact the airline beforehand so that they can assess your medical condition and decide if you are fit to fly. 

How long should you wait before flying after surgery?

How long you should wait can depend on the type of surgery you have had. For example:

Type of SurgeryTime required before flying
Knee surgeryFour to six weeks
Cataract surgery24 hours
Arthroscopic surgeryTwo weeks
Hip replacementThree months
Laparoscopic surgeryFour to five days
Sinus surgeryTwo weeks
Carotid artery surgeryNo time required
StomaNo time required
Retinal tear laser surgeryTill cleared by your doctor
Brain surgerySeven to ten days
Heart surgeryOne week to 10 days
Hernia surgeryFour to ten days
Gallbladder removalDepends on the doctor

Why use an air ambulance if you have to fly?

After surgery there is a critical period of time when you are at increased risk of post-surgical complications. At such a time, you should only fly if you absolutely have to and with your doctor’s permission. However, if you have to travel, you should opt for an air ambulance.

An air ambulance can be a specialized ambulance jet, or a commercial airliner fitted with specialized medical equipment. It provides three types of services; medical equipment, trained medical personnel who can accompany you, and special drugs needed for such conditions. Flying in an ambulance jet has the additional advantage that cabin pressure can be adjusted so that it doesn’t cause any problems.

Medical Air service provides a quick and safe medical flight for post-surgery patients. Contact us 24/7 for a free consultation.

Would insurance cover the costs of an air ambulance?

It primarily depends upon the type of health insurance plan you are on. Under the best of circumstances, air ambulance costs might be covered by medical insurance plans provided by your employer or private medical companies. In other cases, you might need a specialized travel insurance.

Some insurances, however, only cover the costs of an air ambulance in very few cases. For example, if the flight is urgent, necessary, and within the country, your insurance provider may cover the full costs of your travel. However, they may not cover the costs if it involves traveling outside of the country or if they think that you can be treated competently where you are.

You must always read your insurance plan for details on medevac and use of air ambulance. Even when the company is paying for it, you may end up with some co-insurances and deductibles. This might mean that you have to pay some additional out of pocket expenses. Talk to your medical administrator, if you have any questions related to insurance coverage. If you don’t have insurance or your insurance refuses to pay for your air ambulance, we are nevertheless happy to provide you with a safe medical flight.

Flying after surgery: risks of blood clots

After surgery, patients are at an increased risk of blood clots, which is further exacerbated by the act of flying on a commercial flight. According to the HSS Education Institute, there is a general risk of blood clots occurring for up to four to six weeks after surgery. 

 Why is there a greater possibility of blood clots occurring when flying after surgery?

When flying, the lower cabin pressure and the dryness of the recirculated air causes the blood to become thicker and more prone to clotting. This, combined with the fact that the passenger is seated for a prolonged period of time, is immobile and does not have a lot of room to stretch his legs, increases the chances of blood clots and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Dangers of blood clots when flying after surgery? 

The mild consequences of a blood clot after surgery is leg pain and swelling. However, it can quickly turn into a more serious medical emergency. For example, if left untreated, the blood clot can cause chronic swelling and potentially ulceration.

Another serious consequence of DVT when flying after surgery is pulmonary embolism. This occurs when the clot travels to the lung and blocks the pulmonary arteries, causing shortness of breath, chest pains, a rapid heart rate, fainting or in rare fatal cases, even a heart attack.

How do we calculate the cost of your air ambulance?

The cost of air ambulance services depends on several factors. There are no fixed prices. The main factors which we take into account while calculating the bill for your travel are as follows:

  • Lead time for the flight
  • Flight distance to be covered
  • The state of the patient’s health
  • The type of aircraft used
  • Number of people accompanying you

All of these factors are considered as we prepare a special quotation just for you. Even with these things to consider, we promise to be pocket friendly. You can reach us day or night and we will work on free of cost session for you, to prepare a tailor-made quotation. We can even work on such a quotation for your insurance, quickly and even on holidays or weekends. With Medical air service, you do not need to worry about a thing.

Why use Medical Air Service to fly after surgery??

We are the premier air ambulance service which follows every industry standard when it comes to medical repatriation. What sets us apart from our counterparts is the quality of our service. We believe in best medical care while you fly, and we strive to provide it to you. You should choose Medical Air Service for your medical repatriation needs because:

  • We provide 24 hours service every day of the week, even on holidays
  • We work on tailor made packages for each flight
  • We provide multiple modes of travel. Be it commercial airliner or ambulance jets
  • We have 40 years of experience in the field of Medical Repatriation
  • We work in every corner of the earth be it Africa, Asia, Europe, or North America.
  • All our aircraft are fitted with top-of-line medical equipment.
  • We believe in quality of service.
  • You can travel with your loved ones
  • We offer affordable and market competitive rates
  • We operate under ISO 9001 standards.

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