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    How long after tonsillectomy can one fly?

Posted on Thu, 2 Jun 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hi,

I had my tonsils removed on the 7th March (Monday). On the 13th March (Sunday night) my right tonsil bed started bleeding and I went to A&E, but they sent me home after examination as they said the bleeding was not severe enough. I then bled on the night after (Monday), the Wednesday night, the Thursday morning, and had three bleeds on the Friday night (the 18th March). At this point I went to A&E and on the way vomited blood. I also vomited blood in hospital. The bleeding stopped after the second time of vomiting blood, they gave me tranexamic acid, IV antibiotics, a course of antibiotics to take for 10 days (which I finished this morning), and kept me in until the Sunday evening (the 20th March), then told me to stay off work for the next two weeks which I have done.

Since then I have not had any bleeding, and all seems to be going well - I cannot see any scabs anymore, but there is a small bit on my tonsil beds that looks paler than the rest. I feel much better than I did before and am doing a lot more in terms of my daily routine than I was before.

I have my follow up appointment with my ENT on 1st April. However I'm supposed to be going skiing in France on 3rd April, and am wondering whether I will be safe to fly & to ski? I will take the advice my ENT gives me, but am anxious to have some advice before then too.

I'm 23 years old, female, and generally in good health.

Answered by Dr. Arnab Banerjee 36 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Go to France , it'll clear off your head too but Skiing won't be advisable.

Detailed Answer:
Hello Dear XXXX, Welcome to HCM,

I've gone through your query and understand your concern..

Well congratulation first of all for getting alright .. From your history it's quite apparent that the tonsillar bleed was venous and what we call as capillary ooze.. it's actually that swallowed blood (blood is irritant to our gut) which made you vomit .. Look carefully and you might just find some black stool also within next few days(due to the same reason..)..

However nothing to worry at this point , just keep taking all the medications given by the hospital(it's good that the antibiotic course is over)..

Now from your description and present condition, it seems safe to fly and visit France. It'll take your mind off from all these ailments and complications.. good for recovery.. But Skiing is not yet permissible as it involves quite a lot of physical exertion and i'm afraid your still not ready for that kind of stressful activity..

However the final call will certainly be your ENT specialist , who'll need to examine thoroughly before giving any kind of fitness certificate in this regard..

You can always go skiing later on after a full recovery , as it's quite a lot that you've been through lately and the primary focus will be not to hamper with the recovery phase for the time being..so relax..don't worry..

Let me know if you've any further doubts..

My best wishes..
Kind Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
Follow up: Dr. Arnab Banerjee 18 minutes later

I did have blood stalls after the bleeding episode, but I have not had any more since. The bleeding happened on the 18th and that is when I was in hospital, and have not had a bleed since - so I have had 12 days without bleeding. By the time I go to France, as long as I don't bleed between now and then, then it will have been 22 days since bleeding, and 33 days since my operation.

Will this amount of time still not be enough to give me the all clear to go skiing? The skiing holiday was a Christmas present from my parents so I will be so upset if I can't go, and would have had the operation when I came back if I knew there was a chance of not being allowed to ski.

Many thanks

Answered by Dr. Arnab Banerjee 37 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It's not the operation which isn't allowing you to ski but the complication

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX , welcome back,

Thanks for following up,

No need to worry for the black stool as I've already explained, and it's not only the day from the operation but the day from the complication which is of more importance in this regard..

In a normal course of thyroid surgery , generally speaking, a month and half is sufficient for complete recovery, but here it's involved with post-operative complication which is making it more time consuming..

Now there's always a thousand things which "could have" and/ "would have" been done or happened in another way but it's not sensible to blame them , right ?

Specially this kind of complications are always unpredictable , can happen to even the healthiest of the lot..

Now don't be so upset so soon, let's get yourself checked by your ENT at first and don't express this wish of yours before the check-up.. At first just hear what he advises then tell him about it, who knows he might allow you to ski (even though it's a less possibility but still there's some chance )..

So be positive and don't stress yourself..

Let me know how things go later on..

Take care
Kind Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
Answered by
Dr. Arnab Banerjee

Critical Care Specialist

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 1320 Questions


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