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Diving after spontaneous pneumothorax

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by Esprise Me, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    My husband is maybe coming around on the idea of joining me on my diving adventures. Problem is he once suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax, so his regular doc won't sign the medical form but encouraged him to see a specialist. So I have a bunch of questions, and I'd welcome input from lay people with personal experience as well as from the doctors here.

    1) How would we go about finding a doctor who can determine whether he's fit to dive? We're in LA but could drive a ways if necessary. We both have Kaiser and assume we'll likely have to go out of network.

    2) What would the process be like? Are there a lot of invasive tests? Assuming our insurance doesn't cover it, what's a ballpark cost estimate? What are the odds of getting an all-clear vs. something like "you can dive to 30 feet" or "I'll sign the paper if you're willing to accept the risk, but I wouldn't dive if I were you"? I realize we're dealing with a lot of uncertainties here, but it would be one thing to spend a couple hundred to get some X-rays and then have him be able to dive with me, versus dropping ten grand to get painfully poked and prodded and then told "nope" anyway, you know?

    3) Any other things we should be asking?

    Thanks all!
  2. FreeFlyFreak

    FreeFlyFreak Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: California
  3. Duke Dive Medicine

    Duke Dive Medicine Medical Moderator Staff Member

    The UCLA Hyperbaric Unit has physicians who can examine divers. So does Long Beach Memorial's Hyperbaric unit, not sure which one you're closest to but either can help.

    Best regards,
    Esprise Me likes this.
  4. uncfnp

    uncfnp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina

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