Traveling with a stent: Hi, My name is... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Traveling with a stent



My name is Ron and I had three stents fitted a few days ago after a "cardiac episode" completely out of the blue so this is my first post. I have a long holiday booked to the States this summer which involves one location that has temperatures around 38C (the rest are around 28-30) and several locations in the 2000-2400 metre elevation range. I note the BHF advice to avoid extremes of temperature (what does that actually mean?) and elevations over 2000m which my consultant repeated. But how absolute is that advice (I didnt have the chance to question the consultant further)? Is it OK to be at a higher elevation (with lower temperatures) for a few days provided you return lower down (and the same with temperature? Before my "episode" I regarded myself as pretty fit and enjoyed high level hiking, often in desert areas.

5 Replies


I don’t have answers for your specific questions but I had a conversation with cardiologist last week about using a sauna. He was somewhat surprised by the question and said, of course you can use a sauna, just make sure you have plenty of water with you and get out if you start to feel a bit light headed. So, by inference, the temp might be ok, provided you stay very well hydrated. The altitude question I cannot answer but it’ll be because you will be working in a lower oxygen environment so your heart will be working harder. I know this might be a bit left field, but have a look at the American equivalent of the BHF (American heart association) they must have patients who live/work in these environments so maybe able to help.


Any reduction in cardiovascular efficiency will be exacerbated by altitude. Stenting (2) and increasing aortic stenosis left me with dizziness and nausea together with elevated heart rate; symptoms of altitude sickness which I experienced at 2000 metres in the French Alps. I've therefore avoided winter sports this year but hope to resume after surgery. So altitude could possibly give you unexpected discomfort. I would suggest you ensure you have adequate health insurance but above all, listen to your body and of course, your cardiologist.


Without specific medical advice could be real risk to press ahead - you don't elaborate on the nature of the 'cardiac episode' or the physical exertion you plan to undertake at 38C or 2400 metres. Clearly sitting in a sauna is not the same as walking in the equivalent heat/altitude whilst carrying a bag!

Like you, I had 3 stents and over 8 months progressively resumed a level of fitness so that after a medically administered "stress test" I was 'passed' to resume scuba diving, albeit with some specific depth and temperature limitations. I felt that they were somewhat conservative compared to what I had done previously but being under water is no place for an emergency!

Sorry to sound a note of caution but I would follow the rehab process and take advice.

Saying I have family with a heart condition in a very hot country I don’t fink there’s a issue. I’m traveling to a hot country later this year and spoke to my mum in law who is a cardiologist and she has no issues with me and my bloke who has the same heart condition traveling to a hot country but told us to not fly for longer than 9 hours at a time but if it takes longer than 9 hours to have at least 1 day in a location before traveling on.

Hi, I had a stent fitted 9 days ago. I had been training intensively for Everest Base Camp that was scheduled next month when i was diagnosed with a 90% blockage in my left coronary artery. Like you this came out of the blue. I questioned about altitude and was told by the consultant to leave this for 12 months, then I could go to altitude.

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