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I have been fitted with a vp shunt (April 2014) and would like to go on holiday abroad. Although i have been told by my surgeons/neurologists that its ok to fly, i am unsure and have nightmares and major anxieties regarding this matter. Im sure it would help me,  knowing others who are in my situation that have been abroad and flown. I would much appreciate anyones feedback on this. Thankyou.

 

Look forward to your replies.

Sammy 

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I have a shunt but haven't flown not because of that just haven't been abroad since.  But know there's lots on here that have shunts and have hopefully you'll get good feed back...

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Sammy,

 

I have flown many times since my SAH, both short and long haul.  It really is ok.  Cabins are pressurised so there is nothing there to alter your condition no matter what height you fly at.

 

Make sure you are adequately insured for your trip and that you have declared your condition and the medication that you take, if any.

 

Also make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card if flying to Europe - You can apply on-line at Gov.UK

 

If you do take medication, make sure it is in your cabin luggage, not in the hold, just in case you need it and also so there is no chance of it going missing.  Your doctor or hospital can give you a letter to show as you pass through security at the airports.  There is no problem anywhere I have flown, including Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Canaries, Cyprus, Kazakhstan amongst others.

 

Also ensure that if you need to keep your medication chilled that the hotel you go to has the required facilities. I usually go self catering as I know there will always be a fridge with an ice compartment so I know I can chill ice blocks required to keep my medication cool and have them when travelling.  My bag will keep my medication at the required temperature for anything up to 48 hours depending on the climate you are going to.

 

In my opinion, there is nothing to be frightened or nervous about.  The way I view it is that the pilot is going home for tea so I know he/she will get me there ok!

 

Maybe the first time you go, get an aisle seat so you can go to the loo easily.  Also, some airlines run travel awareness sessions for nervous fliers before you go and they will answer any questions you have to allay your fears.

 

Have a great trip, wherever you go

 

Macca

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Hi, I also was terrified of flying after I had coils fitted , and was told the same as you. My first flight was to Bermuda and I was a nervous wreck!!!  Since then I have flown several long haul flights  with no adverse effects and now I am a much calmer frequent flyer. Hope this helps and please don't be afraid... go and enjoy your life!!!

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Dear Macca

 

 

Thank you so much for your reply, great ideas and advice. It has made me feel so much more confident. I will let you know what I decide. 

 

I think my health and reovery would benefit massively from a lovely holiday abroad. so watch this space. ha-ha.

 

Take care

Sammy

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Thank you for your reply Marg, its so lovely to hear.

I have had horrendous nightmares with my coils pinging off 1 by 1 the higher I go in the plane and also with my shunt. There only nasty dreams.

WOW.... Bermuda sounds fabulous and a long way for your first flight. well done.

Take care
Sammy

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Sammy, I was like you and nervous more about the shunt and flying than the SAH if I am honest then I came on here and Super Mario was flying off to quite a few places and I thought' I'm going to do that' , I used to fly lots and I did for the first time last April which was two years post SAh and a year and a half after having my vp shunt placed. It was the first time I felt well enough to be that far away and also cope with the effects of the trip.

It was a little odd, I'm not going to lie but no different effect to low or high pressure weather days if you are someone who gets affected by that, some people don't. I am flying again in a couple of weeks and feel quite relaxed and looking forward even.

One thing, insurance! This is hugely important in my view. Yes get you health insurance card for Europe but the cost of a declared condition which hydrocephalus is and the anneurism , surgery and coiling will bring a big premium, and you ideally need to be a good few months out from a hospital stay or investigation otherwise costs are higher. I used staysure and am happy that I am fully covered if I had any shunt malfunction which although extremely unlikely does need to be considered. I didn't want my family ever to be in a situation where we weren't covered.

Lastly if you have a magnetic shunt valve then you can't go through the scanners. You will need a medical note from your doctors and I also had this translated into the language of the country I visited for the return trip home but everyone was lovely. No different to those with pacemakers really just rarer! Feel free to PM me.

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I was told by my neurosurgeon that the airport scanners would not effect my shunt but I think that is a variable opinion between different neuros. On saying that I don't go through the scanners anyway because of needing my frame to walk.

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I was told by my neurosurgeon that the airport scanners would not effect my shunt but I think that is a variable opinion between different neuros. On saying that I don't go through the scanners anyway because of needing my frame to walk.

I think most are fine super mario but the vp shunt model I have uses a magnetic adjustment so they suggest that whilst it should not cause any issue with the scanners it is advisable to get patted down. My shunt is fine in MRIs so sure it would be ok but I know some have to have settings checked afterwards , it seems it all depends on what model and valve you get!! Us shunt gals eh?

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My shunt means I can't have a MRI without it being reset. Had one once

and it changed the setting so had the bother of that. Mine is magnetic too. We all seem to get different information about everything.

 

Diff re insurance, Staysure recently wanted nearly £500 for me to. have two weeks in Turkey. Went with Unique in the end and they offered me single trip at £59 or year at £129 for Europe. Needless to say I took the year one so I can continue with my travelling. That was a good price considering my age because as soon as you reach 65 premiums shoot up and I had that heart attack 18 months ago

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