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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8346
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My husband had retinal reattachment surgery 11 weeks ago. The

Customer Question

My husband had retinal reattachment surgery 11 weeks ago. The gas bubble is quite small now and we need to take a 3 1/2 hour flight on Saturday.
Can a small bubble cause a big problem when flying?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Are you sure he still has a bubble in his eye?

Dr. Rick :

Even the longest acting gas, C3F8 is 99+% gone after 8 weeks......

Dr. Rick :

However as a retina surgeon I have to tell you that, if your husband has any gas in his eye at all, he MUST NOT fly.

Dr. Rick :

I would have your husbands ophthalmologist or retina specialist take a look at him in the few days and, if there is gas in his eye, you will need to cancel the trip or travel by ground.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8346
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Dr. Rick says:
2:27 PM
Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
2:29 PM
Are you sure he still has a bubble in his eye?
2:31 PM
Even the longest acting gas, C3F8 is 99+% gone after 8 weeks......
2:32 PM
However as a retina surgeon I have to tell you that, if your husband has any gas in his eye at all, he MUST NOT fly.
2:33 PM
I would have your husbands ophthalmologist or retina specialist take a look at him in the few days and, if there is gas in his eye, you will need to cancel the trip or travel by ground.
2:33 PM
Does this make sense to you?
2:34 PM
I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you today.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is Marty's wife again. Dear dr Rick,He also got a scleral buckle.He definitely has a couple of small bubbles still. Recovery was hard and painful with eye socket aches for a month.Our family of 7 booked a vacation to Cabo a year ago.Marty really needs this vacation and he wants To know what could happen if he flysIn 5 days. We will pray hard it will go away.The bubbles move around a lot.Thank you,lee
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Lee,

The scleral buckle will not, of course, be a problem.

But. When the plane goes up the bubble will expand. A lot.

The pressure inside his eyeball will rise...a lot.

He may become nauseated and vomit and, if the pressure goes high enough, he could go irreversibly blind, in a very painful way.

Would things be OK with a "tiny" bubble? Maybe.....But I would not risk it.

After 20+ years as a retina surgeon I have a come up with a rule concerning air bubbles:

Got gas in your eye? You can't fly.

I hope the gas is gone on Friday so he can fly Saturday and get the vacation he needs.

Of course, if he does still have gas in his eye, I'd be happy to travel with you to Cabo San Lucus in his place. I'll even bring my own SCUBA gear..... No sense wasting perfectly good travel arrangements, eh? ;)

lol!

I hope things turn out well....

Have a great trip.

Dr. Rick MD FACS
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for making us laugh and for the great advice.


We are still hoping it dissipates in time.

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
My pleasure. :)

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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
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Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest