Is it safe to fly after craniotomy

Hi everyone, need your opinion if is it safe to fly after craniotomy for meningioma removal. I had my surgery 1/24/17 , stayed in ICU for 2 days and 3 days in the floor. I'm doing well, my doctor cleared me to fly after 2 weeks of surgery. We flying on feb 25, that's already 4 weeks after surgery. But I'm still hesitant if I will go or not.

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  • I'm not sure about a craniotomy, but when I have had surgery they have always said 4 - 6 weeks before flying, depending on the type of surgery and length of the flight.

  • Thank you it will be a 5 hours flight coz we're live here at VA...

  • If your Dr has said it's ok then I would think they are making that decision based on all your medical information and your recovery from the meningioma removal and craniotomy. You need to make sure that you have good travel insurance and they are aware of your surgery otherwise it will be invalidated if you haven't declared your recent surgery. However, personally i think it is very soon for your brain to be healed and would worry about the effect of flying unless it is a short flight!? Also it depends on where and for what reason you need to fly as your recovery is only in very early stages?

  • Thank you , it's a 5 hours flight...my husband told United Airline but they did not asked anything more...I did spoke to 2 neurosurgeons before my surgery and both of them said no flying for 2 weeks after surgery...I've seen my doctor 2 weeks after he told me it's ok for me to fly, I just wanna make it sure that I am safe to fly coz I read articles about having intracranial pressure during the flight...

  • You still need to make sure your travel insurance company knows about the surgery and crainiotomy otherwise should you have any problems you will invalidate your travel insurance. It would not be wise to travel without insurance.

  • Hi Terence and welcome to the forum.

    It may be me but I would be worried about flying too.

    Surely a craniotomy means that the skull has been cut through. No matter how small that cut is it means that the skull is no longer in tact. If you think of it as a break then 6 to 8 weeks is more usually regarded as the healing time.

    Have you asked the airline if they have any guidelines?

    Are you in the USA or Canada?

    If the former then the biausa might be helpful.

    Purely based on what I was told by Occupational Health as I tried to return to work the advice is NO flying is there is even as much a single cell break in the skull.

    It sounds like it's your decision but in would seriously consider postponing the flight unless you can get one or more of the doctors to put it in writing that you are safe to fly.

    Love n hugs

    Xoxo

  • The problem with flying after any kind of surgery is that the affected area will swell due to the negative pressure in the cabin. Always ask your surgeon that performed the surgery whether it's ok to fly

  • I had a meningioma removed in June 2012 and wasn't allowed to fly until September! Could be it was a different location or something but I was scared to fly even then, although it was fine when I did. It must be okay for you if you have been given the all clear to do so. I'd double check tho by giving them a call at the hospital. Best wishes, I hope you have a great time if you do go! xx

  • Thanks

  • I asked my GP if I could fly (I was travelling alone, but taken and met to/from by friends) after my spontaneous aneurysm/brain haemorrhage that required 2 stents inserted, 5 days coma. The flight was 4 months after that but GP did ask how long the flight wld be? 1.5 hrs, he was happy with that but suggested if it was long haul, not such a good idea back then in 2013. I also had 6 weeks stay in between before return flight. No problems during either flight or my stay I'm pleased to say.

    Have you got any health or travel insurance policy though, that could be invalidated, if something happened and you claimed, but you had NOT notified insurers of your surgery and the reason for it?

    I'd check the small print first but pronto.

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