Heart Surgery - How Soon Can You Fly?

Heart Surgery - How Soon Can You Fly? Image Credits: Freepik

So, you’ve recently had a heart surgery and emerged triumphant out of it. You feel terrific about it, and maybe, you want to celebrate this moment by traveling to the your home destination or somewhere you want to be. But you are worried and are perhaps not aware of the fact that you can’t go directly after a heart surgery. What do you do in such situations? Let us see some timelines, preventive measures that will make flying relatively straightforward for you.

1. The Basics

A person recovering from a heart surgery has to look after a lot of things in the first few weeks after the surgery. Many of them are aware of the fact that they cannot fly for a certain amount of time after the surgery. But most of them are unaware of the exact time limits which can be very dangerous for a person’s health.

It all mostly depends on the type of surgery you have had, and it also depends on the airline instructions. Some of the major operations also require permission from a surgeon or general practitioner before flying.

There is a rough guideline provided by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that everyone can follow. This guidance states that minor cardiac surgeries require a minimum of 2 days, a small abdominal surgery could require anywhere between 5-10 days (10 days if complicated), A chest or bypass surgeries requires a minimum of 10 days of rest. So you can say that whatever type of surgery you’ve had, which involves the heart, it is wise to not fly for at least a minimum of 2 to 6 weeks.

2. What Causes It?

A general rule of thumb is that if you can walk briskly on a flat surface for 100 meters without experiencing any pain or breathing difficulties, you can fly, experiencing little to no discomfort.

It doesn’t mean that there are no risks. Although minimal, risks do include severe fatigue, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, etc.

The conclusion here is that cabinet environment is not a threat. It is the psychology of the person, whether they feel fit enough to travel. It is because, if a person thinks that they are not fit enough to travel, they might experience panic attacks and anxiety attacks which can be fatal at such a great height.

The other factor is the stability of the condition. It does not mean that your condition will only worsen while in an airplane, this means that your state may dramatically change anywhere and because it is not much you can do on a plane until it lands; flying is considered to be less favorable.

There are some exceptions though, which includes people who are comfortable with traveling as well. These include patients who have an ejection fraction of more than 40%, patients who show symptoms of a weak heart, patients who have unstable arrhythmias and anginas and patients who are awaiting further tests, investigations, further surgeries, or any device therapy.

3. Conclusion

It is safer to get all your checkups and surgeries done, including all the follow-ups and then waiting for six weeks or the time advised by your physician before you can enjoy flying.


1. How soon are heart patients safely fit to fly? | Heart Sisters
2. Traveling Timeline After Heart Surgery -- Tips For Patients
3. HOW SOON AFTER SURGERY CAN I FLY? - Apollo Hospitals Blog

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