Going on your holidays after you’ve had surgery
Surgical procedures have developed rapidly over the last 20 years. Many surgeries now use local anesthetic or keyhole surgery, which is far less invasive, or even laser surgery. This means that complex procedures can be performed with minimal impact on you as a patient. All this can speed up your recovery time, and you might see a holiday as a perfect way to get the post-surgery relaxation that you need. Rightly so, but it’s more important to make sure you are fully covered for travel insurance after surgery.
Post surgery patients and travel insurance
At AllClear we’re committed to providing everyone a quote, especially if you are unable to obtain travel insurance elsewhere. This means if you’ve recently had surgery, you should consider one of our specialist travel insurance policies.
The risks of making a claim
When you get a quote, the online medical screening process will monitor the risks of you needing to make a claim. You could be claiming to cancel your holiday or because you need emergency medical treatment while you’re away. Therefore, if you’ve had an operation recently, there will be certain risks which will be taken into account during the quote process.
Declaring the surgery you have had
Please note, you will not need to declare the surgical procedure directly. Instead, you will need to declare the medical condition that you needed the surgery for. Afterwards, the quote process will ask related questions – which might include questions about having surgery, but not always. For example, if you are looking for travel insurance after heart surgery, you should declare the heart condition(s) that you have.
The importance of comprehensive cover
It’s important that you are fully covered after your surgery, in case you have a medical emergency when away. The 24-hour emergency assistance team will then be on hand to help you make any emergency arrangements you might need. This is especially useful if you have no local knowledge and don’t speak the language of the country you are visiting. The medical emergency assistance company will liaise on your behalf with the doctors and service providers, saving you hours of potential hassle and worry. You will also be avoiding thousands of pounds in potential bills, should the worst happen when you’re far from home.
The main benefits of cover
- Medical expenses covered up to £20,000,000.
- Cancellation and Curtailment covered up to £5,000.
- Personal Belongings covered up to £3,000.
- Any age. Any medical condition. Any destination.
Travel insurance after surgery: Things to think about before you get your quote
- Before taking out a policy that provides you with travel insurance after surgery, it’s vital that you get confirmation from your doctor that you are fit-to-travel.
- If you already have an annual multi-trip policy in place, have had surgery, and are now considering going on holiday again, you should check with your doctor that you are considered fit-to-travel once more. If you travel against the advice of a doctor or medical practitioner you could invalidate your cover which may mean any claim will be rejected.
- It’s essential that you declare all of your pre-existing medical conditions to us. Including the medical condition for which you have required surgery.
- Your travel insurance will cover the cost of any emergency medical treatment that is necessary whilst you are away. You should be aware, however, that if you’re travelling for the purpose of receiving medical treatment abroad, you won’t be covered.
As long as you have been declared fit-to-travel we could offer you a quote. So whatever medical conditions have caused the need for surgery, you can get specialist travel insurance that takes care of your needs.
Waiting list cover
In some cases, your medical condition may require multiple surgeries. This might mean you are on a waiting list for treatment. However, with many policies you will not be covered for cancellation if you need to cancel for that reason.
However, you have the option to add Waiting List Cover to AllClear Gold and Gold Plus policies. This means you will be covered if you need to cancel or cut short your trip because of being on a waiting list, for example if the date of your operation coincides with your travel dates.
During your quote, you’ll be asked if you are on a waiting list during our medical warranty questions. When you answer ‘yes’, you will only be offered policies that are suitable.
Waiting list cover is only available on single trip policies.
Second year with this company. After having heart surgery found they asked relevant questions which were easy to answer. Paperwork arrived really quickly. Would recommend to anyone with a pre existing condition. Mrs Elizabeth Ganly
Frequently asked questions
You had surgery last month. Will you be able to get travel insurance?
In principle, yes, providing you are fit to travel. Make sure you declare the condition for which you had the surgery when getting your quote, and then answer the medical screening questions. Any answers you need to provide about the surgery will be covered there. You need to declare all conditions or you won’t be covered if you need to make a claim.
What do you do if you need emergency treatment when you're away?
Firstly, don’t worry. Call the emergency medical phone number as detailed in your policy booklet. You will speak to a 24-hour emergency medical assistance team which provides multilingual support to help you get to the nearest hospital. They will follow your treatment all the way to ensure you get the care you need.
You’re taking medication following your surgery, is it included in your travel insurance policy if it gets lost or stolen?
Yes, an AllClear Gold or Gold Plus policy will cover you for loss of medication up to £300.
If you fall ill just before travelling, will you be covered for cancellation?
Yes. You will need to have declared your medical condition that required the surgery, plus any other pre-existing medical conditions, at the time of buying your policy. Your doctor will have to have passed you as medically fit to travel at the time.
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Travelling after surgery
There are a number of different types of surgery, each of which will place its own demands on the body and affect your recovery time. No person and no operation are all the same. Therefore, as well as getting your travel insurance after surgery quote, there are a number of things you might want to thing about when planning a holiday after surgery. We have put these tips together:
Think about how active you want your holiday to be
- If you are recovering from a minimally invasive procedure like laser eye surgery you may be able to be a lot more active than a more major operation. Your doctor or consultant should be able to help guide you in these decisions.
Your airline may restrict when you can travel after surgery. Make sure you check with your medical team and the airline as early as you can. Some operations, like joint replacements, might limit air travel for 3 months or more. As a rough guide, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says that before flying, you should allow:
- one day after simple cataract or corneal laser surgery.
- one day after a colonoscopy.
- one to two days after keyhole surgery.
- four to five days after simple abdominal surgery.
- seven days after more complicated eye surgery
- 10 days after chest surgery or a coronary artery bypass graft.
- one to two days after surgery where a plaster cast is applied – if you have a broken arm or leg, it will affect where you can sit; for example, you won’t be allowed to sit in an emergency seat and you may have to purchase an extra seat if you cannot bend your knee to sit normally.
- two to six weeks after surgery for retinal detachment that involves having a gas bubble put in your eye.
- If you are travelling after you have had a pacemaker fitted, check out our specific page for more information.
Risk of DVT
If you’re flying after recent surgery, especially on the hips or knees, you’re at an increased risk of deep vein throbosis (DVT), a blood clot in one of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Other factors may also increase your risk of DVT, including if:
You’ve had blood clots before.
Your family has a history of blood clots.
You are overweight or obese.
You are pregnant.
If you’re at high risk of DVT, you can speak to your GP. They may get advice from your surgeon. You can take steps to reduce your risk of DVT, such as drinking plenty of water and moving around on the plane. According to the NHS website, the risk of developing a travel-related DVT is low, even if you’re classed as moderate to high risk.
- Avoid travelling to an area with poor sanitation or high rates of infectious diseases. Your immune system may be temporarily less robust following your surgery. You may have a reduced ability to fight off infections.