Author Topic: Air travel restrictions post surgery  (Read 7839 times)

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Air travel restrictions post surgery
« on: November 12, 2010, 05:56:47 PM »
I would be grateful if those who traveled abroad for surgery could summarize the post-surgery air travel restrictions (eg wait post-surgery, travel time limits) and air travel protocols (eg blood thinners) recommended by their doctors.  Any other recommendations/observations would also be appreciated. Thanks


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Re: Air travel restrictions post surgery
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2010, 09:47:47 PM »
Is it really necessary to travel overseas?  I am assuming that you live in the states.  Just curious about the rationale.


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Re: Air travel restrictions post surgery
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2010, 08:39:39 AM »
One compelling reason is cost.  I priced the procedure here with three highly regarded surgeons - one was around $26k (fixed price for self-pay all-in), two others quoted only surgeon's fees and did not provide a fixed cost all-in price, but based on soft estimates of hospital, anesthesia and extras the NY option is around $80k and the New England option around $65k.  No doubt insurers would negotiate these down but a self-pay patient has a hard time negotiating.

In my case, my left hip was resurfaced successfully in the UK in 2006 and I have a great deal of confidence in the UK surgeons and experience (BHR was after all invented there).  My surgeon has since retired, but I have been referred to another specialist.  I'm not American, so, without wishing to be rude or contentious, I don't share the prejudice that always US is best in health care.  I have the greatest respect for US medical professionals and technology, but there is first class leading-edge health care available elsewhere.

I would prefer not to travel, but my most important issue is seeing a first class surgeon at a price I can afford!


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Re: Air travel restrictions post surgery
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2010, 01:04:35 PM »

Hi.  Seems reasonable.  I hold no prejudice that the US has the best healthcare.  That may be only true if you have great insurance.   I was coming from the other side in that US surgeons now have the experience of those early adopters outside the US.  In any case, I wish you well.


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Re: Air travel restrictions post surgery
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 03:43:29 PM »
Hello, halfdone,

I just returned from India last Monday, to California. A full day of flying, with one 2-hour break in Frankfurt, Germany. Dr. Bose resurfaced my right hip. He wants patients to wait 11 days post surgery before any long-haul flights. I'd say that's about right. Reserve an isle seat, operated leg nearest the isle. Wear the TEDs compression stockings you'll be issued. Do "ankle pumps" from time to time. Ideally one should get up every 30 or 40 minutes and stretch and/or walk a little bit. I was less organized about it, but I did get up a lot. I left my one arm-crutch overhead storage and relied on leaning lightly on seatbacks to walk. I was in coach, so I didn't have to reach far to find a seatback. I don't like to sit for long periods of time anyway, so I spent a lot of time just hanging out around the nearest galley or bathroom. In the later parts of a long flight, more and more passengers had the same idea. Some stood there flexing and bending as I did.
I was finishing off the last of a few different pills the doc had given me. I believe one of them was simply a small-dose, enteric-coated aspirin, which would be to prevent clotting.
Honestly, it's not that big a deal. It's a nuisance being stuck on a plane either way, surgery or no surgery. I do recommend contacting the airlines in advance and requesting wheelchair service for each airport on the way home. I did, then tried to just walk anyway, and quickly found myself tired and lost. Let them roll you quickly and efficiently to exactly where you need to be. It's a real pleasure.

Good luck,


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Re: Air travel restrictions post surgery
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 08:36:05 PM »
Hey Rob
Thanks for all the info/advice!
Wishing you continued great progress on your recovery and rehab.


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