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Anxious about flying with a VP shunt

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Posted by Admin on behalf of - Sammy - http://web.behindthegray.net/index.php?/user/1794-sammy/


Hey ..... im back, had a few issues I had to sort out, but getting to the end of my therapy. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and have had many weeks of therapy which is now coming to an end.


I'm feeling a lot more confident and less anxious. We are looking at going abroad in October, it will be the first time I've been abroad since my SAH and I'm feeling a little anxious and concerned as I have a VP shunt fitted as well has having my aneurysm coiled.


I could just do with some more reassurance from any of you who have had a shunt fitted and flown.


Although I have already gained some info from people on here I just feel that I need a little more assurance from you

Many Thanks Sammy. 

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Hi Sammy,


I don't have a shunt but I was coiled five years ago.  I have flown about 20 times since then, both short haul and long haul without any problems.  Pressurised cabins have not caused any problems for me.  I actually have more problems on the ground with ordinary barometric pressure changes, in particular with drops in air pressure which produces 'muggy' feelings and sometimes a low thumping type of headache but nothing serious. 


Perhaps others who do have shunts will re-count their experiences for you. If you have any doubts speak to your doctor before you plan your trip.


Best wishes



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Hey Sammy. Glad you have had some help, it is important to grab all e support out there even if sometimes it's a battle to ask for it. I had PTSD diagnosed also and the counsellinh really helped me.

Flying? Well I came on here like you seeking reassurance and found Super Mario flying here there and everywhere and thought, you know what I want to do that too.

I have flown twice now , am off again next month and I can honestly say to no Ill effects other than the effort and exhaustion of the travel itself.

Top tips from me. Get a letter from your doctor declaring you have a VP shunt and get it translated as well if you can't go through scanners. I was advised not too go through but every shunt is different so you may need to check.

Take some good ear plugs and wear them from the moment you get in the terminal. Drink even more water. Suck Polo mints. This one is a gem from WIn. Sucking one of these calms and helps with the takeoff and landing. And wear sunglasses to take the edge off, they may think you are a celeb!

Lastly, good insurance is a must , it will cost you a premium I am afraid but well worth it for peace of mind. But other than that enjoy. It's feels good to reclaim some of that previous independence

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I use Unique. Look them up. You have to ring them and you talk to a real person. You cannot apply online with them. In fact avoid trying to get insurance online, you need to be able to explain.

I paid £129 in March this year for 12 months insurance  with no exclusions, which is cheap as I have heart problems too and had a heart attack in September 2013. 

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