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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is flying safe when suffering from small aneurysms?

hi there my partner has just left hospital after having a subarachniod hemorrhage from a burst blood vein, he was also diagnosed with 2 very small aneurysms however these are not treatable due to the size of them. we get married in october and was planning on going away for a honeymoon will he be able to fly???
Mon, 9 Sep 2019
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Neurologist 's  Response

Unfortunately, there are no STANDARD GUIDELINES that have been developed yet that we can appeal to on the question of safe to fly after aneurysmal burst and/or the presence of unburst aneurysms.

The literature certainly does contain a number of citations and reports of individuals who have suffered from incidents such as spontaneous SUBARACHNOID bleeding or rupture of unburst aneurysms who have just completed flights.

It is unclear though on any standard of practice. The majority of the recommendations seem to point to a waiting period (without well tested or grounded data) of no less than 2-4 weeks in the case of someone who just HAD a bleed in order to fly vs. up to 6 weeks of waiting in someone's who had a craniotomy to evacuate a blood clot who wants to fly.

If it were my patient I would likely ask them to wait 4 weeks if possible to fly AFTER a bleed. 8 weeks after a surgical procedure to evacuate any blood from the head.

As far as the risk of flying WITH UNRUPTURED aneurysms there are no agreed-upon numbers therefore, in my opinion whether someone KNOWS or DOESN'T KNOW they have an unruptured aneurysm in their head (or any other organ of the body) it doesn't alter the risk factor (if there is even one to actually talk about) element so to me there should logically be NO TIME CONSTRAINT on when a person could or should fly after finding out they have aneurysms which are inoperable, etc.

That needs to be more an individual's feeling of comfort zone action as opposed to a doctor trying to counsel them according to scientific evidence that it is or isn't safe because there's nothing along those lines. Make sense?

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care

Dr Dariush Saghafi, Neurologist
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