Mark Turner Consultant Cardiologist

The Heart Centre Spire Bristol Hospital, The Glen
A Centre of Excellence for Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

Diving with Lung Disease

Lung disease is very important for divers. However it is possible to dive with well-controlled asthma and after some procedures on the lung (like pleurectomy).

Lung assessments are sometimes needed for determining the cause of decompression illness, and some divers present with lung disease that is well treated. Spire Bristol has excellent infrastructure to help in assessing these problems. Dr Turner sees divers with lung disease and can organise CT scans, chest x-rays and further assessment by a lung specialist if needed.

Sometimes abnormal blood vessels in the lungs called Arterio-Venous Malformations (AVMs) can cause decompression illness. Dr Turner is one of a very small group of cardiologists in the UK with experience of closing these abnormal vessels using keyhole techniques, to allow return to diving.

Lung surgery is rarely needed, but is available at Spire Bristol.

In all cases each diver is assessed as an individual and after assessment Dr Turner will discuss whether diving is possible, if alterations in diving practise are needed to mitigate risk and whether there are excess risks. The diver can then make an informed decision.