How Long After Bypass Surgery Can You Fly (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Four Weeks

Bypass surgery is a term used to refer to surgeries that help reroute parts of the body, most of which are tubular. There are multiple types of bypass surgery conducted by medical professionals worldwide, depending on a particular patient’s situation.

It is one of the surgeries that are is widely conducted in all parts of the world. Twenty percent of the population undergoes bypass surgery in their lifetime. If you’re old and haven’t had a bypass surgery yet, consider yourself lucky. In contrast, if you’re young, take proper precautions to avoid a need for surgery in the future.

How Long After Bypass Surgery Can You Fly?

In most cases, bypass surgery is done to redirect the blood flow from one area to another as the working of the blood vessels might be blocked. The area where the surgery will be done is decided by the medical staff operating at the surgery room. If the doctor feels that there are alternate ways by which the blood flow can be regulated, then the doctor might opt for that. In most cases, alternate measures are looked into beforehand, and if no such measure is found to be successful, only surgery is preferred.

The blockage of blood flow is common and happens at a superficial level with every person regularly. However, if the blood flow is stopped for a very long time, it is crucial to consult a medical expert. In most low-level blockages, the problem is sorted out by taking medicines readily available at nearby medical stores. It is always advised to take the patient to a nearby hospital if it becomes unconscious after blood flow restriction. If the blood flow is ceased for a very long period, the patient can die.

Type Of Bypass SurgeryTime After Bypass Surgery To Fly
Bypass Surgery along with pulmonary complicationsSix weeks
Bypass surgery without pulmonary complicationsFour weeks

A patient might develop some pulmonary complications after bypass surgery. If this is the case of a patient, then flying is prohibited for six months. In contrast, if a patient doesn’t develop any pulmonary complications, they can fly anytime after four weeks of rest.

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Why Does It Take That Long After Bypass Surgery To Fly?

Local anesthesia is applied at the surgical site before starting the surgery. After the surgery is completed, the patient is shifted to the recovery room for healing and monitoring purposes. In case of any emergency, it is imperative to consult a medical practitioner immediately. The anesthesia is mainly administered by a registered nurse, as not everyone is allowed to give anesthesia. It is ensured that the anesthesia is appropriately given so the patient doesn’t feel any pain, and the surgery can go on without any hindrance.

It is advised not to fly after a bypass surgery because blood clotting will increase the risk of getting infected by various other bacteria. Blood clots take place in the blood vessels of the patient. There are increased chances of having an embolism if a patient opts for long flights. In the surgery, the surgeon tightens various areas of the muscles, and flying can lead to loosening of the muscles, which could nullify all the efforts put in by the surgeon.

It is very crucial to follow the guidelines that are provided by the medical in charge of operating. They are experienced and know what complications can arise after bypass surgery. Flying might have grave consequences as sitting in the same position for a longer duration of time has an equally adverse effect on the treated veins as that of rigorous physical activity.

Conclusion

Overall, it can be concluded that the first flying experience following a knee replacement is sure to be a special one. To make it more memorable, the concerned individual should focus more on aftercare instead of rushing towards the activity. The wait might be extended up to a few more weeks if the proper measures are not adhered to.

On average, it takes four weeks after the completion of bypass surgery to fly. The success rate depends upon the long-time reliability instead of the quick results. Blood vessels are prone to take time in recovering due to restricted movement. In case of any emergency, medical guidance is a must.

References

  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa066603
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199612193352501
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