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Questions to Ask your Doctor about Flying for Medical Treatment

It’s always a good idea to prepare a list of questions for your doctor’s appointments, so you can think about what you want to know before you’re in the stressful setting of a doctor’s office. If you are flying with Angel Flight West for surgery or medical treatment, here are a few questions to help you and your medical team plan your trip:

1. How soon can I fly after surgery or treatment? The time may vary greatly depending on the procedure you are having. Your care provider must provide a medical release stating that it is safe for you to travel. You must also be able to walk and step up into the aircraft.  To find out what to expect click here.  Ask your doctor about recovery time so you can properly plan your flight home. For a full list of our requirements click here.

2. Is supplemental oxygen recommended for my condition? Private planes are not pressurized like commercial flights. Ask your doctor if there are any concerns.

3. Do I need specific care for stitches or a surgical site?

4. Will I be taking home medical equipment or other luggage, such as liquid medications? Our pilots need to calculate overall weight and have limited cargo space, so it’s important that we know what to expect.

5. What can I do to improve circulation during the flight? Are compression socks recommended for someone with my condition? Are there seated stretches or movements I can do during or before the flight?

6. Are there medications I should take or avoid before the flight? Ask your doctor about use of all prescription and over the counter medications before and after your flight.

7. Flying with our volunteer pilots reduces your exposure, but if your Angel Flight is with one of our commercial partners, ask your doctor for suggestions to prevent picking up a cold from one of your fellow passengers. There are many simple ways to prevent infection from crowds.

If you are flying with Angel Flight for medical treatment or have a persistent condition, it is important to discuss your travel plans with your hometown doctor and also with the medical professionals at your destination. Get the best travel advice from your doctors, so that your “angel flight(s)” can be an effective leg of your journey to health.

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