Pulmonary Embolism long haul flights

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Hello out there...I'm new to this Forum and finding it very helpful for my husbannd's case....He has a PE in bottom right lung...was discovered whil having CT and MRI scans for prostate cancer...so yes picked up at the bottom of scan on the urethia then had to have a upper thorax ct scan and hey ho there it wasūüėĀ ?..it is not cancer related..however he is now taking rivaroxaban 20mg a day after having glexane injections in the stomach, he could not handle those as were extremely painful after about 1 month, ¬†so this suits him and not to many side affects just a little dizzy at times.. He has now been taking Anticoagulaint for approx 4 months, he has to have a procedure on his prostate under General Anesthetic and Consultant Uroligist will not operate till he has been taking for a minimum of 3 months we have been told he will have to stop rivaroxaban and start injecting 5 days before and 5 days after with glexane injections then go back to rivaroxaban for a further 2 months ( so in total 6 months) All a bit of a nightmare really as he had no symptoms of a PE and felt very well Consultants are quite amazed as they cannot hear anything un toward when they listen to his chest, he also had a lung function test done and that was completely normal al well.. He does not get out of breath at all and occasionally has a few bike rides with me. They are almost 100% sure that it was caused by long haul flight as Christmas to Miami ...so this would of gone undetected if he hadn't gone to Drs for prostate investigation's.....So the question what I want to ask is.. Has anybody flown long haul with PE and what did they have to take prior to flight, as my husband has been told he will not have to take Anticoagulaint for more than 6 Months...and who knows what we may have lurking inside of us... We are going to see Chest dr next month so I'm hoping he will give us more answers ..

0 likes, 10 replies

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there and sorry to hear about your husband.  I had a long haul flight provoked P/E in Jan 2015 after a visit to Peru.  I had few symptoms as well...just a slight ache in the calf and a bit of a cough.  THen one day I just could not walk....couldn't get my breath and ended up in A & E where a large saddle embolism was diagnosed after a CT scan. Pretty scary being told I was lucky to still be alive!  I am now on Rivaroxaban for life (had a previous DVT many years ago).  Anyhoo.....I have flown long haul since with no probs, (In fact I am typing this from  Croatia - just a 3 hr flight this time tho).  All the specialists I asked all said so long as you are anticoagulated, either warfarin/rivaroxaban etc or if you are past the usual 6 month course and are deemed safe and no longer need to hac a/c's then see about having some tinzaparin injections before a flight.  I have flown several times since my episode with no probs....just wear the compression socks, drink loads of water for a few days before flying and move about the plane if poss or exercise in your seat.  Hope this has provided some reassurance!

    Best wishes to you both

    Alex x

    • Posted

      Many thanks Allexie for your reply..yes this has made me a little more confident about our flight at Christmas ..knowing that you guys out there are safe with PE and flying ...the nurse that my husband saw at hematolagy said about having a shot of glexane 2 hours before the fight ..so I hope this will be the case... We saw Consultant Anesthetist today for Georges prostate procedure and he has given him the go ahead for a GA and will be writing to the Urologist, hopefully he can have it at the end of June by that time he would of been taking Anticoagulaint for approx 4 months, he said they will take him of ribabraxoban a few days before  procedure  and give him a shot of   Glexane before and after operation,  so hopefully by the end of August he can come of them all being well... Can I ask did you let travel insurance know that you have had a PE and did it reflect in the cost.

      Many Thanks

      shall keep you posted about our next appt with Chest specialist 


    • Posted

      Hi there Allexie forgot to mention the only symptom my husband had was a nasty cough and flue type symptoms on the last couple of days of our cruise we put it down to air con and the extreme heat in Panama..he had the cough when we got home to the uk and he felt rough for about a week with jet lag, and stayed in bed for about 5 days or so.. Anesthetist said this also contributed...
    • Posted

      Hi Carolyn

      Oh yes, I do declare the P/E to the travel insurance people an it hasn't madr a vast difference to the premium which surprised me. It seems that if you are anticoagulated then they are happy ro insure you. I have no udea what would happen tho if you come off meds after the standard 6 months and how that is reflected. I am sure someone will respond with more info on that for you. I hope all goes well with your husband's op and that you are able to get away at Christmas. Do keep in touch- this is a very supportive forum and a great source of info on a condition that the health service does not seem to slways serve very well!

      Allex x

    • Posted

      Did your husband have any symptom pf a DVT in the leg along with the cough? I put my sore leg down to having spent a few weeks walking the Inca Trail in Peru and clambering around ancient temples. I also wonder if spending some time at a very high altitude (16,000ft) also contributed. One consultant thought it was s possibility tho I cannot find any references myself. Then when I got home I thought the cough and 'chestiness' was the winter virus that everone else in the UK seemed to have. I get every little symptom checked now!!
    • Posted

      ......Maybe just a coincidence but a week prior to my symptoms of pain in my side and back especially when I breathed and same day diagnosis of a PE, I had climbed a volcano in Bali!!

      No other site of a DVT has been found.

    • Posted

      Hi Allexie

      no my husband had no pain in his legs at all ....no symptoms what so ever...just like I said a cough and flue type symptoms the last few days of our cruise and returning to uk with the same cough flue symptoms ...we put this down to air con and extras of heat. Also jet lag just makes you feel like crap any whey ... So yes this PE was a shock to us ....

      But next time we fly we will definitely wear the socks drink plenty of water and walk about...and George will probably have to inject glexane before flying... Will have to ask chest specialist if he can give more clarification on long haul flights ...or if hematolagy clinic has more info ....or if GP can give correct procedure to take..

      We want to fly of to Ireland after my husband has his op later in September so I'll be bombarding the relavant Drs about safety....

      But shall keep you posted..


  • Posted


    i too have a PE which appears to have been caused by travelling.  January this year I travelled for 13 hours to SE Asia and three weeks later diagnosed with a PE.  I will finish my 6 months medication at the end of July.   As I have family out there i intend travelling long haul again and my consultant has recommended that I have an injection (blood thinner) before I fly both ways. 

    She was going to put this recommendation in writing for my GP to action.

    you may wish to mention this to your consultant on you visit next month. 

    Best wishes and enjoy your adventures


    • Posted


      many thanks for reply yes I think that's a very good idea to get a letter for GP...as mentioned in reply to Allexie I will keep you posted about our next appt to Chest consultant .....and can I ask you Lazeedaze did you tell travel insurance you are taking Anticoagulaint for flying and did it increase the cost of your travel insurance..

  • Posted

    Hi Carolyn

    yes I will advise the insurance company when I next fly. ¬†I had a quote for a week trip to Majorca and was surprised at how cheap it was.... I thought it would be loadedūüėÉ ¬†I will still be on the thinners and it is only a two hour flight.¬†

    Good luck with it all, def helps me to drink loads of water at times of hazy head.  Mentally it takes time to get thoughts under control. 


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