Air Travel after ablation procedure - AF Association

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Air Travel after ablation procedure

Humayun631
Humayun631

I am having an ablation procedure on 19th Jan in London.Due to my professional work I have to travel abroad after the procedure.My question is after how many days of the procedure can I travel by air(the journey is likely to be over 10 hours).

11 Replies
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I few to UK to Seville a week or two after my ablation without any problem.

BobD
BobDVolunteer

This is something that you really need to ask your EP. On the basis that the general advice is two weeks full rest and then ease back into work gently this may not suit you.

Really difficult question to answer - best ask your doctor. I did a 3 hr short haul flight about 7 days after but I really wouldn’t want to do a long haul flight! I don’t think there is anything dangerous about the flight itself but the hassle of navigating airports etc. requires walking long distances and if you will be working after you arrive......... I would be thinking weeks not days.

The general advice is to do nothing at all for the first week and just a little more the second. It is a very individual - although you won’t have a external big scar - you have just had the inside of your burned so it has an effect!

Everyone heals at different rates but you will put the success of the ablation in jeopardy if you do too much, too soon, as many of us can testify to.

The blanking period or healing period for your heart is considered to be 12 weeks but I found it was really about 6-12 months before my heart rate was consistently down and I needn’t pace myself but then old ladies heal much slower.

Mike11
Mike11 in reply to CDreamer

Actually the flight itself is a danger. Many people with AF have low SpO2 levels. Mine drops to <85% on flights even post my successful ablation. I hence monitor myself constantly during flights and take deep breathing exercises whenever it goes below 90.

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to Mike11

My lowest is 92 so not had that problem.

Mike11
Mike11 in reply to CDreamer

Yes I should have said 'can be a danger'. We're all different so the original respondant needs to check it with a short haul flight first.

I wouldn't want to find out one hour into a 10 hour flight that I was dying of oxygen starvation !

tdi1272
tdi1272 in reply to Mike11

Normally Jets are pressurized to equally 2500m of altitude, modern planes as the A350 to an even lower altitude. Oxygen Saturation with 90 or lower in modern airplanes may have another reason.

The extraction (pumping) function is compromised during Af, resulting in decreasing SPo2. this in particular happens during lack of oxygen during exercise or altitude and AF

No, no, no !! Your health is more important than your work. Cancel the trip and wait until after the procedure as we're all different. Some people are up and about within a few days whilst others have to wait six months or more. But the stress of a long haul flight right after an ablation seems one way to ensure it will fail and you'll need a second one.

tdi1272
tdi1272 in reply to Mike11

I dont think flying a few days after procedure and success of ablation is in correlation. Moreover, sitting quietly for prolonged time may even be beneficial. I agree pre-flight stress including carrying luggage, sleeplessness, climate change and Jet lag etc. may have an influence and should be avoided. I believe Humayun is an experienced flyer.

Other than the previous replies I would like to encourage you to proceed with your plans. Going back to work is helping a lot in the rehabilitation and healing process, as it stops you from feeling ill. Not to mention the psychological uplift of having control over life and heartbeat again. I have been travelling myself over 7time zones about 5 days after ablation (I left the hospital the day after ablation) To my opinion, even sitting in Economy in a long haul flight will not having a negative effect physically on itself. You would have to cope with other circumstances which may or may not affect you, including dry air, lower air pressure, Jet Lag and -as in my case- elevated anxiety of sitting in a tin can for 10hours. If I would be in the same situation I would do it again. as it helped me a lot to find my way back to lead a normal life. You will love it, but make sure you get on the plane well rested and well hydrated.

tdi1272
tdi1272 in reply to tdi1272

Just want to add of course check with the Doctor, if he is reluctant to approve ask again.

yes, its an inside scar, but you will sit (or lie)in an airplane, and not doing a marathon or 20km hike.

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