Travelling after a coronary angioplasty

Article contents

Travelling with Coronary Angioplasty

If you have a heart condition and are planning on travelling abroad, it’s important that you’re covered by a travel insurance policy that meets all your needs.

So to help you travel without any stress and enjoy your trip to the fullest, we’ve put together this in-depth guide to travelling after a coronary angioplasty. 

Do you need travel insurance following coronary angioplasty surgery?

Buying travel insurance means you’ll be financially protected if certain things go wrong on your trip.

That’s why it’s particularly important to have a policy in place – before you leave – to cover any potential medical costs.

For example, if you require treatment while you’re abroad, a travel insurance policy that covers your stent will help you avoid unexpected medical bills.

Typically, travellers with pre-existing medical conditions are more likely to fall ill while they’re travelling, so finding the right policy is very important.

Can I get travel insurance following coronary angioplasty surgery?

Yes. Anyone with a pre-existing heart condition or who has undergone any other heart-related surgery – like a coronary angioplasty – can get travel insurance.

Each insurer will have their own rules around what they cover, so you should always check whether the policy covers your specific condition, and what it will protect you for.

If you have a pre-existing heart condition and are looking to travel abroad, it’s important that you make sure:

  • you’re cleared to travel by your doctor before you leave
  • that you declare all your pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer

What should travel insurance cover for people with a stent?

Generally, a travel insurance policy should cover:

  • emergency medical costs
  • repatriation (meaning the costs involved in transporting you to your home country) if it’s medically necessary for you to return to the UK
  • any lost, stolen or damaged medication
  • costs if you need to cut your trip short or cancel it completely due to illness related to your heart condition or stent

Does my coronary angioplasty or stent mean I have a pre-existing medical condition?

Coronary angioplasty is a treatment that takes place after you have been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition relating to your heart.

We define a pre-existing medical condition as an illness or injury that:

  • has been identified by a doctor
  • is under investigation by a doctor
  • is known to you before your policy starts or when you book a trip (whichever is later)

As a result, you would be considered to have a pre-existing medical condition if you’ve undergone coronary angioplasty surgery and had a stent fitted.

Do I have to declare that I have had a coronary angioplasty/a stent fitted when buying travel insurance?

Yes. During the screening process, you must tell your insurer that you’ve had a coronary angioplasty procedure and a stent fitted when buying your travel insurance policy.

By declaring these to your insurer, they can make sure your policy covers you for any potential problems relating to your stent so that you can avoid any unexpected medical bills.

If you don’t declare these to your insurer, they can refuse a claim which is in any way related with a pre-existing medical condition, or the insurer may not pay a claim in full.

What will my insurer ask during the screening process?

The purpose of the screening process is to make sure your insurer can provide you with a policy which covers all your needs while you’re abroad. It’s also completely confidential.

During the screening process, the questions your insurer will ask will cover:

  • the medications you take for your heart condition
  • whether you’ve recently been hospitalised with your condition
  • if you have any associated health conditions

For travellers with heart conditions, or who have had undergone coronary angioplasty surgery, they may also ask you about:

  • where in your body your stent was fitted
  • if you’ve ever had a heart bypass
  • if you’ve ever been a smoker
  • when your angioplasty surgery was performed, or how long ago your stent was fitted
  • if you’ve ever had any chest pains or chest tightness since your last procedure
  • how many coronary stents you have

How much is travel insurance after a heart attack or coronary angioplasty surgery?

If you have a heart condition, the cost of your travel insurance might be higher.

The cost of your policy will vary depending on the severity of your condition, as well as any other health problems you may have.

Overall, the price of your policy will always depend on:

  • where you’re going
  • how long you’re going for
  • what activities you have planned
  • if you have any associated health conditions
  • the nature of your pre-existing condition

What preparations should I make for travelling with a stent?

Before you travel, make sure to:

  • have a check-up with your doctor to confirm that you’re fit to fly
  • choose your destination carefully – avoid any locations that could worsen your heart condition’s symptoms (such as very hot, very cold, or high-altitude locations)
  • check with your GP or pharmacist that your medication is a legal substance in the location you’re travelling to
  • pack medication in both your cabin luggage and hand luggage in case either are lost, stolen or damaged

For your flight, it’s important to let security staff at the airport know if you have a heart device. The scanners shouldn’t affect your device if you walk through them at a reasonable pace, but airport staff will need be careful when scanning you with a handheld metal detector.

While scanning you, they should hold it at least 15cm away from your device and avoid sweeping it over you repeatedly or lingering over it for a while.

Your heart condition might also mean that you’re at a higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) while you fly, so be sure to wear compression socks and to move around regularly.

What do I need to pack when I travel with a stent?

While you’re travelling with a heart condition or stent, it’s recommended that you to pack:

  • a valid Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) – this will allow you to access medical care and receive treatment while you’re travelling in Europe; read our guide on using the GHIC in Europe
  • enough medication to last the entirety of your trip, as well as a few extra days’ worth just to be on the safe side
  • a Device Identification Card, if you have a heart device fitted (such as a pacemaker), for doctors to refer to if you need treatment
  • any recent medical letters, records of treatment you’ve received, and a copy of your electrocardiogram (ECG), so that doctors can have all the information they need if they have to treat you

Can I fly after having a heart attack or a stent fitted?

If you’ve had a heart attack, had a stent fitted, or have a heart condition, before you fly or travel abroad it’s generally recommended that you:

  • wait for the period of time recommended by your doctor before travelling
  • book a check-up with your GP
  • have been advised that it is safe for you to fly by your doctor
  • declared your condition and your doctor’s clearance for you to fly to your insurer

How soon can I fly after having a stent fitted?

Following coronary angioplasty surgery, you should be safe to fly two weeks after a successful procedure. If you experienced any complications during or after the surgery, you may have to wait longer.

Generally, it’s recommended to book a check-up with your doctor before you travel so that they can accurately check whether it’s suitable and safe for you to do so.

What should I do if I fall ill while I’m abroad?

If you fall ill while you’re abroad, you should contact the emergency services, go to the nearest hospital, or seek the medical help you need immediately.

You will also need to contact your insurer’s emergency service or helpline as soon as you can.

5 Star Defaqto rated Platinum Level Travel Insurance