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Going through airport security

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Going through airport security

Postby BFlikke » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:53 am

OK, so, this might be the weirdest question ever, but (no pun intended) has anyone ever had trouble going through security check points at the airport after their surgeries? I ask this because I have permanent staples in my rectum (as I'm sure some of you do, too). Not really sure if they can see the, hear them, or if I will set something off. Does anyone know??
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby NWgirl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:01 pm

I'm pretty sure the staples are titanium - I have them too. I asked my husband and I think he said titanium doesn't set off the metal detectors. I've been through airport security a number of times since I've had my surgery (with internal staples) and I've never had any problems with bells and whistles going off.
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby Ashlee H. » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:53 pm

I have surgical clips from three surgeries, plus two large screws in my heel, and have never set off alarms at the airport.
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby Lee » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:15 pm

I had wires holding my skull together from my first brain surgery 20+ years ago, that never set off any alarms. My neurosurgeon removed them on my last surgery and replaced them with titanium screws. My husband had to get a titanium elbow after a motorcycle accident. I asked the surgeon about titanium setting off security alarms, surgeon it should not happen. I asked if we should carry cards. Surgeon said cards were too easy to forge, if hubby or I do set off some alarm, show the security people the scars, it's hard to fake a scar.

These security people do run into these problems all the time. A few years back I left my ostomy scissors in my luggage I was taking on the plane with me, and it did attract security's attention. Once they realized what these scissors were for (ostomy purpose), security sent me to an area to mail my scissors home, and gave me a special pass to get back with my family without waiting in line again to go thru security again. I had to go thru the detectors again I just didn't have to wait in line to do it. I would have shown them my ostomy to get those scissors back. Now I believe it is O.K. to bring certain scissors on the plane, but I will continue to leave them at home, safe. If there is an issue (I will be on a plane next month), I honestly have no qualms showing security or anybody my ostomy. I have educated many people about colon cancer, ostomy, etc. More than once a new Dr will pick my brain regarding my ostomy.

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby BrownBagger » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:22 pm

Takes more than a few staples to set off the airport metal detector. One of my late sales reps had an artificial knee. I'm not sure what it was made of, but he always set off the alarms and got all kinds of extra scrutiny, so he was a pain to travel with. As a totally OT sidenote, he was so cheap that he not only brought his own little bottles of booze on the plane with him (back when you could carry liquids), but he'd keep the bottles and refill them at home.
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby jane » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:42 am

There are no problems with surgical staples setting the alarms off!

Happy travels,
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby garbovatwin » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:33 am

Loud enough for all around to hear, I would tell them that they are staples from surgery for CRC. Let em have it if it sets things off. Ask not to go though the radiation screening. Ask to be wanded personally. Let them know in advance. Let the ticket agent know in advance that you had surgery and may set all the whistles off.

I used to love flying. Now airports just piss me off.
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby Russian27 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:46 am

I travelled back home 6 days after my surgery with multiple staples on my belly - no problem at all.
Dx at 39(12/2008), Stage IV, omentum mets,
0/16 lymph nodes positive,
right colectomy 1/2009,
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby SkiFletch » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:59 am

Amen to that garbovatwin. I loved how when I last travelled, my "medical" bag full of needles and syringes didn't even draw a second look or stopping of the belt as it went through Xray, but they tore apart my empty laptop bag...
11/13/09 5cm Stage IV 9/25 lymph nodes w/2cm peritoneal met at 29 YoA
12/15/09 LA right hemi-colectomy
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10/9/10 got Married :D

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Re: Going through airport security

Postby hannahw » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:40 am

I think one of the frustrating things is that it's not always standardized. What is a big deal at one checkpoint is no big deal at another. The differences aren't just airport to airport, but screener to screener. But I think that's true in general, not just when it comes to medical equipment/supplies.

My Dad has generally found the screeners to be accommodating. They're just trying to do their job. They can't be specifically prepared for every last medical equipment issue that might come up. Hopefully they have a good sense of the general issues at hand so they can make a reasonable decision when they encounter something they're not familiar with.

My Dad has called ahead, but that doesn't always make a difference. The funny thing is that for all the unique things my Dad has going, I still find that what holds him up most is some random passenger in front of him who acts like they've never been through airport security before. One way or the other, probably the most important thing to pack when you travel is your patience. It is what it is. Don't let the security line put a damper on your trip.
Daughter of Dad with Stage IV CC
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby bflikke » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:49 pm

Just FYI...I had no problem getting through. Thanks to all that resonded. I really appreciate it:)
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby Ivona » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:19 pm

Now....how about a discussion on cavity searches??? Wouldn't that be fun??? :mrgreen:
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Re: Going through airport security

Postby karin » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:19 pm

hahahahahaha..........cavity searches ! :lol:
:roll: Not sure my cavities really want that though........
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She beat cancer for 20 months!
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