I'm not sure where else to turn. When my son was 7 we found out by accident that he has a very large arachnoid cyst. Because he suffered only occasional headaches, the doctors did not recommend to do any surgery unless he developed more severe symptoms. He is now 20 and is a wonderful young man. Luckily he has been in good health but still suffers from occassional headaches. Now we would like to take a "real" family vacation and fly to Cancun. He never flew before and I am very concerned about it. The doctors say that there are no restrictions and it is fine to fly but I'm very uneasy with it. Can anyone with this condition let me know what their experiences were with flying? My son has a 10cm Right Fronto-Temporal Arachnoid Cyst. You're responses are invaluable as there is little information available on this subject. Thanks!
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.
Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
Arachnoid cysts are sacs filled with cerebropsinal fluid (CSF) which is the fluid that normally bathes the brain and spine. This fluid is normally located in the part of the brain called the subarachnoid space.
Most commonly, these are primary arachnoid cysts, cysts that are present from birth and result from a minor developmental problem that occurred while the brain was developing. Secondary arachnoid cysts are those that develop secondary to trauma, infection, or after brain sugery. It is not always possible to tell if the cyst your child has is primary or secondary. Arachnoid cysts, in most people, do not cause symptoms and are found incidentally when they present with an unrelated problem or symptom. (So, this argues why it shouldn’t be a problem to fly). Depending on the size and location of the cyst, they may cause seizures (which can cause “memory” problems), psychiatric problems, and headaches. Some cysts resolve spontaneously, but most arachnoid cysts remain the same size or increase in size only slightly in adulthood, and others fluctuate over time. Asymptomatic arachnoid cysts incidentally found should be left alone.
I would suggest that you ask your son’s physician if there is any other reason why he should not able to fly.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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