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Aviat Space Environ Med. 2014 Jan;85(1):75-7.

Air travel with known pneumocephalus following outpatient sinus surgery.

Author information

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, USA. s10twillson@gmail.com
  • 2Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
  • 3Department of Neurosurgery, San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Intracranial air is a common finding after many neurosurgical procedures and trauma to the head. In patients requiring transport via air to reach a destination there is risk of expansion of the intracranial air and development of neurological complications. Though relatively uncommon after functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), pneumocephalus may be encountered.

CASE REPORT:

We describe one of our patients in whom intracranial air was introduced during FESS. Following the procedure she required commercial air transportation from our center to her home. A 45-min commercial flight to the destination was safely completed without the patient experiencing any neurological sequellae.

DISCUSSION:

This case highlights the controversy surrounding air travel with pneumocephalus and provides an example of safe commercial air travel after diagnosis of post-FESS pneumocephalus.

PMID:
24479264
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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