ICD and fitness to fly (flying)

Last edited 08/2019 and last reviewed 08/2019

Condition Lay explanation Restriction/guidance
Following ICD implantation If you have had an ICD then there is a risk of the lung being punctured during the insertion procedure. If it has not been punctured you can fly after 2 days. If it has then you should wait until 2 weeks after it has fully healed. In addition you should not fly after the ICD has delivered a shock until your condition is considered stable.

Fly after 2 days if no pneumothorax. In the event of a pneumothorax flying should be deferred for 2 weeks following complete resolution. Rhythm instability should be treated.

Note that these are only guidelines and each airline has its own regulations and medical standards.


  • British Heart Foundation (September 2010). Factfile - Fitness to fly for passengers with cardiovascular disease.
  • International Air Transport Association. Medical Manual 11th Edition (2018).