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"Will my surgery affect my ability to fly on an airplane?"

ZocdocAnswersWill my surgery affect my ability to fly on an airplane?


I am a nineteen year old male, and I was the recipient of ear surgery when I was ten to remove an ear drum that had collapsed after repeated ear infections. The scars from the surgery still occasionally bleed when wet, and that ear produces an unusual amount of wax on occasion. I am curious if the lack of actual ear drum will affect my ability to fly, since when taking off the ears 'pop'.


This question is best answered by you - how have you previously done with experiences where your ears 'pop,' such as when you climb a mountain, go up an elevator, or other activities that cause changes in air pressure? If such situations do not affect you adversely now, then you should be OK traveling in an airplane. The caveat, of course, is if you or your parents were told anything differently when the surgery was done, and if the surgeon has mentioned anything specific since then. More interesting is the question about why your ear still bleeds almost a decade after the surgery. I would be interested to know when your last follow up was, how your hearing is in that ear, and if you have other symptoms or problems associated with the surgery that was performed so long ago. In general, after a few weeks, scars should heal and become part of your normal skin, with only subtle differences. Bleeding that is still occurring this long after the fact indicates that there is some other source or problem with that ear. Please see either the surgeon that did the surgery originally, or another ear-nose-and throat surgeon (aka, otolaryngologist) for a physical exam of that ear, as well as to ask this question in person to see if there is anything in your surgically altered anatomy that would pose a problem.

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