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Traveling

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One of the most pleasurable post-transplant gifts is the ability to travel again without the encumbrance of oxygen. But there are still important things to remember. When you fly, you should keep your medications in your carry-on luggage. Always take extra medication with you in case a flight is delayed or another unforeseen circumstance arises. If you travel internationally, consult your transplant team about the risks of visiting different countries. You should also educate yourself about the local hospital system in which you will be traveling and whether there is a lung transplant center. Having this information before you travel can give you peace of mind and save time if you find yourself in an emergent situation.

Many vaccines are not safe for post-transplant recipients to receive. Travel restrictions for you may be different than for other recipients due to differences in drug regimens and stability.

Wearing adequate sunscreen is very important after transplant, in summer and winter, at home and on vacation. Some of the medications you will be taking increase your chances of getting cancer, and skin cancer occurs at a higher rate among transplant recipients relative to non-transplant patients. Don’t forget to cover your ears, scalp, and lips with sun protection.

How soon may you take a vacation? Ask your doctor. You may be cleared to travel as soon as you are feeling better, but always take the phone number for your transplant center with you and wear emergency medical identification for your safety.

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