Hernias are a common medical condition that can affect almost anyone. As not all hernias require surgery to be removed, some people with the condition may be planning on travelling after their diagnosis and be unsure of whether this is safe to do so.
If you’ve been wondering about the risk of flying after hernia surgery or want to know if you can go on holiday with a hernia, this post has all the answers.
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is a medical condition where an internal part of the body pushes through a weak point in a nearby muscle or the surrounding tissue wall. They usually happen in a location in your lower torso and can have no symptoms except for a lump appearing around your abdomen/groin area.
There are several different types of hernias that are caused by different medical issues. Whilst most tend to be brought on by repeated strain on the stomach, some hernias occur if a surgical wound hasn’t properly healed, for example.
Whilst most hernias do not pose a life-threatening risk to the patient, surgery may be required to remove them or treat any complications that have arisen. If you have been diagnosed with a hernia then you may be classed as having a pre-existing health condition when organising travel insurance, which can change the coverage you require.
There are also several risks associated with flying with a hernia, which we will discuss below.
Can I Fly With a Hernia?
Flying with a hernia has a couple of risks. The first of these is that there is a small chance that the changes in air pressure in the cabin could cause the hernia to strangulate which would require immediate medical attention that is not possible whilst on a plane.
Secondly, if you are travelling with a lot of luggage then the necessary lifting and moving of these heavy objects could also lead to a strangulated hernia.
Finally, even if a hernia is causing you minimal discomfort and is deemed to be stable, there is still a risk of complications whilst you are away. Depending on the country you are visiting, it could be very difficult to get the necessary medical attention you need and this process could also be expensive if you haven’t got the right medical travel insurance.
The best advice is to talk to your doctor if you have a hernia and are thinking about flying, as they will be able to advise you on whether the risk is significant and how to manage your condition whilst you are away.
Advice for Flying With a Hernia
If you have asked your doctor “Can I go on holiday with a hernia?” and they have agreed that a trip poses a low risk to your health, there are several pieces of travel advice that you should follow to make your trip as smooth as possible.
Firstly, avoid carrying or manoeuvring any heavy bags whilst you are at the airport. This kind of physical activity can cause a hernia to rapidly worsen, so ensure your luggage is easy to transport or ask for assistance.
For some people, sitting for long periods of time with a hernia can be very uncomfortable. Try to minimise very long journeys if possible, and get up and move around if you are in pain on the flight.
Make sure that you understand the symptoms of a strangulated hernia or other serious complications so that you can identify if something does go wrong on the flight. It can also be worth notifying the cabin crew of your condition, just in case there is a problem.
Finally, ensure that you have bought travel insurance that covers your hernia as a pre-existing health condition, to cover you in the event of any sudden, necessary medical care. You can purchase comprehensive travel insurance for conditions like a hernia from Navigator Travel, so if you’re looking for cover get in touch and find out more about what we offer.