Flying After Embolization - How Soon?

My doctors split on whether I should be cleared to fly after my embo. I was out for about 5 hours last Friday getting this malformation filled with glue. It's dying now, according to one doctor. He says there's blood on my CT, but it's impossible to tell if it's inside the malformation, like the doctor who did the embo says, or if it's outside ... in the brain or dura. So, he says I should stay home and heal some more, even though it is a very small amount of blood and he admits he's being "ultra conservative". The doctor that did the embo says the blood is definitely inside the malformation where it belongs, and there is no additional risk from flying. Note that I am talking about a 7 hour international flight at cruising altitude.

So, my question is, who here has flown after an embolization in the head/brain and how soon after the treatment did you fly? Any comments are welcome.

I have a short hop from RDU to New York before leaving for Italy, and if anything at all doesn't feel right, I will abort. I do not have to get on that overseas flight if it doesn't feel right. But, I fully intend to otherwise.

I appreciate your thoughts and inputs!!

- John

Hard to say whether they are trying to keep you close to your medical care, or concerned with the altitude. In my case, I had a crainiotomy about 5 months ago, and I’m cleared to fly because they said the cabin is pressurized, so there is no reason for worry at all. It will be interesting to see if I make it through security without setting off the alarms, since I have 3 small metal plates (and 14 screws) in my head. Could be interesting! Good luck to you. I hope they let you fly…sounds like a fun trip!

Not sure if you will feel it or not, however…they tell us we can not feel the air pressure on a plane anymore. Oh sureeeeeeeeee. LOL This does not mean that you will feel it, however, be advised that sometimes we still feel the pressure on take off…usually not on landing though. Or at least I still do and my operation was back in 85. With the glue…I doubt if you will feel it, but didn’t want you to be shocked if you did. Easy way to relieve the pressure (which only last about 30 seconds to 1 minute…lay head down (forward). It passes and the rest of my trips flying have been great. I was not able to get the embolization, they had to cut me open and I still have several clips in my head, which look kinda like binder clips which are on the veins, etc. I say…Go For It !!!. Just make sure you carry a piece of paper at all times with your condition wrote out, doctors names and hospitals, medicines, place of treatment and family members. I hope you have a most wonderful time.

Hi John, good the hear the embo went well!,although every case is different I asked this after surgery too… they said that it was fine:)I flew bout three months after, and went great:)good luck with your decision , hope you have a great time!! Italy’s amazing!

Thanks, Jmo! I landed in Milano this morning. I’m checked into my hotel in Saronno. Yeah!

WTG John !!! So glad you arrived safely. Hope you have a most wonderful time.

John…our “Junior Bird Man”

Hee hee. Yeah, that’s me. Many have said flying is not an issue - after a few months - but my Neurosrgeon was concerned about me flying so soon after the treatment (one week). He was worried that any “scab” in my head could start to re-bleed as a result of the pressure changes on the plane. Then the doctor who dod the procedure said, “Go ahead”. Anyway, I think I got away with it, but I also think it was a little reckless, considering what’s at stake. Don’t use me as an example! Listen to your most conservative doctor.

Hello John .
You brave and determined man , be good to you - take care of you .
Divertirsi ! ( I think that means " have fun " … )

John, I was a scuba diver before my brain bleed. I flew to Grand Cayman and went diving right after I had my Proton Beam Radiation… I dove 100 feet down, but probably shouldn’t have. I believe I asked my Doctor and he said I could. The truth is that I had my bleed while vaccuming my carpet…So if it’s going to happen…it could happen anywhere. Talk to you soon, Louisa

Hi John Looking at this quite late, I had a big embo in Feb 2009 and took a flight to California from U.K 3 months after that and then came back to the U.K I suffered a major brain haemorhhage a few weeks after flying. I think it may have been due to the flying and not resting plus i was going through alot of stress during that period and never recovered from the Jet Lag.

But to be honest i know people who fly within the USA after their Embos and before. short haul flights and have never had any problems