After Open Heart Surgery How Soon Can I Fly?

Question

Asked by Hal

After Open Heart Surgery How Soon Can I Fly?

Answer

Hal,

My prior answer is obviously geared toward someone who would be piloting the plane. Perhaps I interpreted the question that way because I have a special interest in that area.

If you are asking about being a passenger on a commercial airliner, the answer would depend on your recovery and any complications that you may have encountered. Doctors vary on their policies and reasoning, and they would have the final say on allowing you to travel. They would want to feel comfortable that you were stable with little chance of problems, as you might be quite a distance from where you had your surgery.

The traveling itself would not be much different than other forms of transportation, except the walking necessary to get to the gate and jetway. Most airlines will provide airport transport to the gate with a note from your physician. Modern planes have good pressurization and other comfort controls, so this is not an issue.

I therefore suggest you discuss this with your doctors for their opinion on the timing, and their clearance.

Martin Cane, M.D.