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Does an operation under total anaesthesia invalidate your medical?

I heard rumours that after any operation requiring total anaesthesia one should do a checkup for the medical certificate to still be valid, however I cannot seem to find any official piece of regulation stating this.
Is it BS or can anyone confirm this?

LFST, France

See Part MED MED.A.020 Decrease in medical fitness point (b)(1)

holders of a medical certificate shall, without undue delay and before exercising the
privileges of their licence, seek aero-medical advice from the AeMC, AME or GMP, as applicable,
when they:
(1) have undergone a surgical operation or invasive procedure;
Nympsfield, United Kingdom

For those operating on an FAA medical this link may be of interest. See the ‘Self Ground for Medical Deficiency’ section. The FAA regulation and philosophy is completely different and you are required only to report only a limited list of serious disqualifying conditions if they crop up between medicals. Otherwise you are responsible to self ground until the issue in your own judgement has passed, and later on report the treatment on your next periodic FAA medical renewal.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 02 May 14:40

The EASA reg does not mention “total anaesthesia” so even local would trigger this.

Yes the FAA system is excellent. A much better way to run it.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

OK, thanks. In practical terms, what does one do, call the AME and say “I had an operation and need a check-up”? There doesn’t seem to be a specific procedure with documents and stamps involved, right?

LFST, France

In the associated GM there is :

(19) Anaesthetics. Following local, general, dental and other anaesthetics, a period of time should elapse before returning to flying. The period will vary considerably from individual to individual, but a pilot or cabin crew member should not fly for at least 12 hours after a local anaesthetic, and for at least 48 hours after a general, spinal or epidural anaesthetic

With a reminder that it is additional guidance so you should still speak to your AME.

Seba wrote:

In practical terms, what does one do, call the AME and say “I had an operation and need a check-up”?

My view: Call AME and say " I had operation for X. I rested n days. Are you happy for me to carry on? Or should I come to see you?"

Nympsfield, United Kingdom

My French AME told me that surgery invalidated my medical, when I told him about it. However reading this all it requires is that you “seek aeromedical advice” from, among others a GP. So you call your GP and say “I had surgery, do you think it’s OK to fly?” Voila. You’ve sought advice. It doesn’t say anything about what the advice has to be, so even if s/he says “Under no circumstances are you to fly, ever again, however long you may live” you’re good to go. I suspect that were I to ask my AME, he’d quickly tell me I need another complete medical and charge me €280 for the privilege. But the rules doesn’t appear to say that.

LFMD, France

I wish @johnh. After certain types of medical intervention or time in hospital you really need to contact the Pôle Medicale of the DGAC. Your AME might be prepared to do that for you. Cost is normally somewhere between €50 and €85. If you are being charged €280 you are being ripped off. The Pôle Medicale decides how long before you can fly again and what tests will need to be provided to the AME and restrictions such as needing a safety pilot for 6 months or a year..Then the AME will sign your class 2 medical noting any restrictions in weird acronyms and send off your dossier to the Pòle Medicale. From now on this can happen on every medical.
Because of age mine was every year. The AME and/or the Pôle Medicaĺe can demand that for the next visit they will require something else. This is even if specialist doctors in their field eg Cardiologists put it in writing that you are perfectly fit to fly and all tests with the AME prove the same.
It’s madness and why I now fly ULs.


I’ve had surgery years ago with full anesthesia and grounded myself for a few weeks because it affected my mobility and in my innocence never even considered going to my AMC. At the next medical assessment I of course was a good boy and told of the operation. No comment at all. More recently I had another surgery done which did not impair me according to my own judgement. No comments again during the next medical.. I guess fortunately Spain resembles the US in this respect. Or at least my AMC does.

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

I maintained my EASA class II medical until a few years ago, done by an AME in the UK who also did my FAA one. During that period I had surgery under full anesthesia. Grounded myself for a month or so. Mentioned it during my next medical and that was that. No comment whatsoever.
Actually, coming to think of it, I may have called my AME before the procedure. Can’t quite remember. In any case, a non event.

Last Edited by 172driver at 02 May 17:19
13 Posts
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