Clinical case review

A 60-year-old man who wishes to travel after neurosurgery

Nicholas Little



Is this patient fit for air travel after his decompressive craniectomy? What are the main points to consider as he plans his trip?

Article Extract

Case scenario

Jack is a 60-year-old man who was in good health until he suffered a fall on a wet path. He was attending a gym most days and had been taking a statin and low-dose aspirin for five years. Following the fall six months ago, however, he suffered a massive subdural bleed. Urgent surgery to evacuate the haemorrhage was carried out but his intracranial pressure proved difficult to control. Four days after the injury, decompressive craniectomy was performed. Following intensive rehabilitation, Jack is now back home but he is dependent on a wheelchair. The craniectomy wound was not repaired and he was given a protective helmet to wear.

Jack now wants to visit his daughter in South Africa. Is he fit to travel? What are the pros and cons of decompressive craniectomy surgery?