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Can I travel abroad after an angioplasty?

For those of you who have recently undergone an angioplasty you may well be fearful of flying abroad for some rest and recuperation.

Our first advice here at Direct Travel Insurance is not to step on a plane unless you have consulted with a doctor. Everyone is different. But the most important point is to ensure you have the correct medical insurance cover in place should you fall ill whilst away.

Unblocking or widening an artery

An angioplasty is a treatment to widen or unblock an artery that feeds the heart (a coronary artery). The procedure involves a sausage-shaped balloon fed into the artery where it is inflated for 20-30 seconds to squash fatty material to walls of the vessel in the affected area.

Some patients are released from hospital the same day, others are kept in overnight or longer, depending on their condition. While the DVLA recommends not driving for a week for people who have undergone the procedure, NHS websites advise that they may travel by plane two days after a straightforward procedure.

If you have undergone an angioplasty as a result of a heart attack the interval of time you can fly will be drastically different, so make sure you check with the medics who are looking after you. If your heart condition is stable medics are more likely to say that you are able to fly, so always ask them.

Check list for travelling following an angioplasty

  • Leave in plenty of time for your flight. Why add more stress to your trip by cutting it fine and fretting about whether you will make your flight?
  • Ensure you have all the medication you may need and keep it in your hand luggage
  • Doublecheck with your GP or your pharmacist that none of your medication is deemed a banned substance in your country of destination
  • Have a copy of a letter from your GP or consultant confirming your diagnosis and your fitness to travel
  • Photograph any important documentation using your smart phone in case you need to rely on it should your papers go missing
  • If you buy your holiday insurance through Direct Travel Insurance then make sure you add our 24-hour helpline number into your contacts

Booking your COPD travel insurance

Direct Travel Insurance offers cover for pre-existing medical conditions. If you have any heart-related conditions or any other existing illnesses please make sure you let our team know about it.

It is worth writing a list of any ailments before your pick up the phone so that you don’t miss something in error.