Tips for flying after surgery

Having surgery abroad can make traveling painful and difficult. After checking with your doctor and the airline’s medical team that you’re fit to fly, here are some simple tips to help you on your flight home.

5ebc7685b13bdd96044f4f91daf486107cc5fb0c 400x266

Tip 1

Get mobile

Keeping as mobile as possible before and during the flight can help prevent clots forming. Move your toes and ankles, and, if you can, walk up and down the plane. You could even do some stretches in the galleys. The cabin crew and other passengers will be quick to understand.

Tip 2

Don’t forget your medication

Before you leave the hospital remember to ask your doctor if there is any specific medication you should take before/during/after the flight. Keep any medication you may need easily accessible in your hand luggage. This includes any painkillers or antibiotics which have to be taken on a schedule (bear in mind that time differences may confuse your schedule). Additional prescriptions like aspirin may be helpful – but check with your doctor first.

Tip 3

Seat location is key

Aim for a seat with extra legroom that isn’t in an exit row, as passengers who sit in exit rows will need to be able to assist cabin crew with a plane evacuation if necessary.

If you can, sit over the wings. The plane is slightly more stable here so the ride should be less bumpy.

Tip 4

Stay hydrated

Painkillers or anti-clotting medication can be affected by the consumption of alcohol or caffeine. So drink lots of liquids, but try to steer clear of anything that may interact with your prescriptions. Ask your doctor if you are unsure. Moisturizers and lip balms can be used to alleviate dry skin and lips should they arise from dehydration.

Tip 5

Function not fashion

Compression socks aren’t the most flattering piece of clothing, but will help prevent against deep vein thrombosis. In more general terms, make sure to dress comfortably. Ask for a neck pillow or blanket, or ideally take your own on board.

Tip 6


Airplanes have a high turnover of people, and it’s unlikely that the plane gets fully cleaned between each flight. As a post-op surgical patient you should be wary of infection. Antiseptic wipes can be useful for wiping down the arm rests and the seat tray. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet.

Tip 6

Tell the airline

Most importantly, you must check with your doctor and the airline’s medical team if you think you may need some extra assistance on the flight. Airlines often offer help and assistance for people who need it, so see what they can do to make your journey easier.

If you’re unable to fly, or are worried about flying on your own for medical reasons and need more assistance, then please contact EMS Air Ambulance & Medical Repatriation. We are contactable 24-7 and are experts in patient transportation. If we need to put you in an ambulance and drive you all the way home, we will. The transportation of patients is a sensitive matter, but we’re invested in giving you the information to make the right decisions, and getting you and your loved ones home safely.

Contact us for more information
Obtenir un devis gratuit