Flying after Spontaneous Pneumothorax

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So I had my first Spontaneous Pneumothorax in October 2015 in my left lung. My 2nd pneumothorax did not occur until September 2018 and then the 3rd in March 2019 which is when I had to have my lung aspirated, all on the left lung. I had VATS Bullectomy Pleurodesis in May 2019 where I have been told that the procedure was a success. Pneumothorax has recently occurred in my right lung (which I have never had any problems with). My current Pneumothorax is only tiny...1.47cm so Doctors have said it will heal on its own. I am due to fly to Turkey in just over two weeks and I am also scheduled for a Fit to fly test at the hospital to determine whether my lung/lungs will be able to hold the air pressure.

Has anyone had this test? If so, does anyone know what the test consists of?

How likely is it that I will be able to take Oxygen Supplement with me on the flight?

Also, if the doctor advises that I am safe to fly, I will be really nervous too fly just incase my lung was too collapse during the flight. Has anyone experienced a pneumothorax during flight?

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3 Replies

  • Posted

    I flew from Barcelona to Amsterdam and then onto Dublin with a pneumothorax. My lung was 60% collapsed and I thought it was pnemonia so I took the flights! When I got to Dublin I did a 2 day firefighting and one day sea survival course and then after this went to the hospital because I was in bad pain. Thats when I found out it was 60% collapsed.

    There is mixed reports about flying with a pneumothorax. There is only a slight air pressure difference as the inside of the plane is pressurised. Some doctors say you cannot fly for 8 weeks after a pneumothorax and others say it is ok to fly. Hard to know what to believe!

    I survived, haha. I dont even think you would need the oxygen. The inside of the plane is kept at a relatively cosntant pressure. Think of a plastic bottle on a flight. There is a slight difference in pressure noticed, but this is closed. Your lung is like a bag and you are constantly breathing in and out.

    • Posted

      Thanks for your response. Wow thats crazy, how you done all that with a collapsed lung I will never know. But im glad your ok. I assume they either aspirated your lung or put a chest drain in? considering it was collapsed by 60%.

      Yeah ive seen so many different views of flying with a pneumothorax and even the time you are supposed to wait for the pneumothorax to heal is never consistent across doctors.

      Well im hoping when I have the fit to fly assessment in the next couple of weeks will give me the answers and keep me assured....hopefully. Just so nervous to fly and I have flew so many times after all my episodes but because this one is so close to the time im due to fly, I am a bag of nerves.

    • Posted

      Yes they tried an aspiration first and didnt work, so then tried a drain. That didnt work so then they connected me to a pump, lol. My lung reinflated after 5 days from when i was admitted.

      Ahhh im sure you will be ok. Try not to worry.

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