With the great strides in medicine, coronary bypass surgery has become a successful option for treating heart disease. Post-surgery patients have expressed concern about air travel after such a surgical procedure. Yale researchers have studied the problem and concluded that air travel is safe if you wait at least two weeks after surgery. They also suggest discussing travel with an internist or cardiologist, who can then determine if you need any pre-flight testing.
Security Metal Detectors
If you have a pace maker or defibrillator, you might set off metal detectors. Physicians suggest that you carry a card showing that you have a device and request a hand-held search. The cards are available from the manufacturer and your individual physician.
Proper Medication Not Available
Before traveling, be sure that you not only have ample medication for the length of the trip but that you keep it in your carry-on luggage along with an updated medication list with allergies.
Altitude can decrease the oxygen content in blood and cause blood clots. Take medication for your blood pressure and other cardiac issues before takeoff. If you are 50 or younger with risk factors for venous thrombosis, wear below-the-knee compression stockings while traveling. Consider a graduated below-the-knee compression stocking for flights exceeding eight hours.
Contact the airline about your dietary needs at least 48 hours before your trip. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages and in-flight meals high in sodium. Drink plenty of water.
Medical History And Contacts
Carry a copy of your health history, your latest ECG, and contact numbers for physicians and family members.