Can I get Class 3 Medical with 2 stents done 15 years ago?
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Answered By AOPA
Other than 2 artificial knees and 2 stents I had put in about 15 years ago for blocked arteries, I'm in excellent health at 67.  I want to fulfil a life goal of getting my private pilots license but am worried the stents I had put in 15 years ago might be a problem.  If anyone has any insight I would appreciate it.  I'm currently doing ground school but don't want to throw money at flight training if there is no chance of getting my medical.  I never had any issues after the stents were done and my regular physician says I'm solid as a rock.  Thank you in advance for any insight you might be able to shed.
3 Replies
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AOPA Staff Answer
Mark,

It will depend on how you do on current testing. Stents require a special issuance and in order to be approved you'll have to provide documentation and testing. Here's the link to our subject report outlining the requirements: https://www.aopa.org/go-fly/medical-resources/health-conditions/heart-and-circulatory-system/angina-angioplasty-bypass-cad-heart-attack-stent. As long as your testing and reports are favorable and there are no other issues then the FAA should be able to issue your medical. 
 
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What most AMEs miss is that the FAA Cardiology section has an Anatomical standard in which no part of the heart can be behind a 70% lesion; 60% if it's the left main, (in addition to the Ef >40% limitation AND the nine minute stress Treadmill to >90% Vmax without >1MM ST depressions, which most know about).
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Hey Mark,
As a recent recepient of a damn "special issuance denial" from the FAA I would suggest you make sure your AME is confident that you will pass the "special issuance" requirements before sending the paperwork to the FAA. Otherwise, don't risk a denial until your AME is confident of test results passing.  And be careful of the cost of the "required testing" costs.  I took a required "nuclear stress test" that would have cost $15,000 if I paid out of pocket.  I'm not going to go through the aggravation of an appeal. Good luck.