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debbei
02-23-2011, 07:44 AM
Hi All,

I know in the past I've seen numerous posts on airport security and fusions, but I don't think there has been an active thread since the latest security with the full body scanners vs. pat downs. I'll be taking a trip in the next few months, and want to know what to expect. If I agree to the full body scan (which I have no problem with), and they see all my 'internal equipment', will I still need to be patted down (which I do have a problem with) ? That kind of freaks me out.

Thanks!

LindaRacine
02-23-2011, 10:31 AM
Hi...

I suspect that you will be patted down. I flew to Dallas in January. I was scanned both ways, and got patted down as well.

Linda

rainbow2010
02-23-2011, 11:55 AM
I think it depends on the airport. My friend has had a hip and knee replacement and flew recently. she was patted down in Atlanta but only had to go through the scanner in Pittsburg

ARodsMom
02-23-2011, 01:46 PM
We were just told at our follow up with the orthopedic that there is actually a study going on now as to whether the hardware will set off alarms.

Doodles
02-23-2011, 02:24 PM
I think I can help with the study--YES, it does! I haven't flown since the new stuff but early last year & in the summer bells were ringing. I thought those pat downs were a bit much. They did the same to my 85 year old mother who could barely stand upright for it. Even building security I set off. They asked me if I wore a lot of bling. All my bling is inner! Janet

debbei
02-23-2011, 02:30 PM
Thanks everyone,

I have gone through metal detectors at various places, including our county courthouse, and never set them off, which kind of amazed me.

However, I'm just thinking that if they put me through one of those whole body scanners at the airport and see all my hardware, they'll want to pat me down to make sure I'm not trying to hide anything else. That's what bothers me but oh well what can I do?

Singer
02-23-2011, 03:08 PM
Ask to be patted down by the cutest guy there......

Nitram
02-24-2011, 11:30 PM
I've been through Dulles airport in DC and Tampa airport in Florida and went right through the scanner with no problem. To be honest I was a little disappointed that no alarms went off! :-)

Nitram

KathK
02-25-2011, 09:19 AM
I have flown three times since my surgery. On the first two trips, security sent me through the metal detector and I did not set it off (even at Reagan National in DC). However, on my last trip to St. Louis, they asked me if I had in metal in my body. When I said, "yes", they put me through the body scanner (must be a digital x-ray machine). After the body scanner, I also got a "pat down".

I wonder if they only asked me the question about metal in my body because I had a wheelchair assist (I was traveling alone and needed help getting through security.) On my next trip without the wheelchair assist, I'll find out if that is a routine question now or if that is just something they ask their wheelchair passengers.

I personally don't like the body scan because it is another x-ray on top of the ba-zillion x-rays we've had in our lifetimes!

TitaniumGrrrl
02-25-2011, 03:33 PM
Any kind of medical implant of any sort will show up on the new full body scanners. You'll be patted down.

I have my own issues with current TSA regulations, so I no longer fly. I believe the current measures are a violation of my 4th amendment rights. But that's a discussion for another board.

loves to skate
02-25-2011, 03:38 PM
If you are going to be patted down after the scanner, shouldn't you just ask to be patted down? That scares the you know what out of me. I would rather take the x-ray, but it sounds like they will pat you down anyway.
Sally

debbei
02-25-2011, 05:54 PM
I agree with you Sally. :(

It's like we get the cake and eat it too, but all in a bad way!

TitaniumGrrrl
02-25-2011, 07:55 PM
If you are going to be patted down after the scanner, shouldn't you just ask to be patted down? That scares the you know what out of me. I would rather take the x-ray, but it sounds like they will pat you down anyway.
Sally

If you are prepared for what the pat down will be like. I cannot imagine what I'd encounter having them feel my scar tissue - which ends past my tail bone (aka, in my butt crack. Sorry for being crass.).

titaniumed
02-26-2011, 11:15 AM
If we are going to have to be patted down, and there was some way to incorporate massage into it, they could kill 2 birds with one stone......

When that show bomber showed up, he made the whole world take their shoes off.
Itís a good thing he didnít have exploding underwear.

Ed

Pooka1
02-26-2011, 11:44 AM
If we are going to have to be patted down, and there was some way to incorporate massage into it, they could kill 2 birds with one stone......

When that show bomber showed up, he made the whole world take their shoes off.
Itís a good thing he didnít have exploding underwear.

Ed

LOL! Good one.

debbei
02-26-2011, 11:47 AM
Well don't forget Ed & Sharon, there was also the stupid underwear bomber!!! From what I understand, they pat you EVERYWHERE. Blahhhh

Pooka1
02-26-2011, 11:52 AM
Well don't forget Ed & Sharon, there was also the stupid underwear bomber!!! From what I understand, they pat you EVERYWHERE. Blahhhh

Oh yeah I forgot about that! You're right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umar_Farouk_Abdulmutallab

It's a crazy world out there.

debbei
05-01-2011, 06:36 PM
I thought I'd update this thread--we flew from Philly to the Bahamas. I think I lucked out because there was no X-Ray machine where we went through security, and I didn't kick of the metal detector, so no problem! No pat down for me!

It was the same going back home, no body scanner in the bahamas! :)

djkinkead
05-01-2011, 07:08 PM
Hi Everyone,

I travel a fair amount for my job (well, when I get the budget for projects), and I realize I won't be able to fly for a while, but how soon after surgery is it safe to fly?

mgs
05-01-2011, 08:20 PM
I never set off the alarm when I flew, with a back full of hardware. . .just walked through the detector and proceeded, like everyone else.

My daughter flew home for a visit 2 weeks ago, out of Reagan National in DC. . .she had a scalpel in her CARRY-ON (she had forgotten it was in there) and it went unnoticed by the TSA folks (she found it in her bag, once here, when she was retrieving articles she had brought home to read). However, TSA did confiscate a baggie of toiletries from her CHECKED luggage, because it contained a disposable razor (they left a form letter in her luggage).

I don't think we can predict what TSA will do when we go to the airport. . .it's a new adventure every time.

sarahcant
05-03-2011, 07:29 AM
Mgs...Im dumbfounded at the inconsistencies in the airport security system. It all depends on the day and the mood of the agents it seems. What the hell was she gonna do with a checked razor? so stupid...so my question is when is it ok to fly...not that I really have a choice my daughter is graduating from college the end of may and Im not sitting in the car for five hours Im flying to Albany and she will pick me up for the hour's ride to Oneonta. Then I just booked a trip to Florida for the first week of June so I guess I'm asking after the cow is out of the barn but I would like to hear any tips or comments...thanks guys!

titaniumed
05-03-2011, 08:33 AM
I believe 4- 6 weeks should be ok.....ask your surgeon. You have to worry about blood clots. Better to play it safe.

After surgery, you should lay low and take it easy.

It doesnít happen often, but I could imagine hitting what the pilots call ďlight chopĒ a very unpleasant feeling. Light chop can turn into "roller coaster" quickly......

Iíve been on planes where the drinks hit the ceiling.
Ed

sarahcant
05-03-2011, 08:44 AM
yea I forgot about turbulence....better a drink to hit the ceiling than my head! I have so much trouble laying low and relaxing..but I'm working on it. Im def loving online shopping..better get back to work soon! Thanks for your response Ed!

loves to skate
05-03-2011, 09:31 AM
I believe 4- 6 weeks should be ok.....ask your surgeon. You have to worry about blood clots. Better to play it safe.

After surgery, you should lay low and take it easy.

It doesnít happen often, but I could imagine hitting what the pilots call ďlight chopĒ a very unpleasant feeling. Light chop can turn into "roller coaster" quickly......

Iíve been on planes where the drinks hit the ceiling.
Ed

My doctor just told me to take an aspirin before I travel whether I ride in a car or an airplane. Actually, he said everyone should do this before they travel.

Sally

mgs
05-03-2011, 10:59 AM
So, your question is not so much about airport security as about what, in your situation, constitutes safe travel? I second the "ask your doctor". . .it never dawned on me that blood clots, a couple months out, would still be a concern. I hear you. . .missing an offspring's graduation is like missing their wedding. . .we're just not going to let that happen!! (Congrats to you, and to your graduate!) If the distance travelled would be 5 hours by car, I gather that your flight will be rather short (2 hours, maybe?) - which is a good thing. Make sure you have pain meds w/you to help with discomfort, should they be needed.
I almost totally agree w/the aspirin advice, BUT. . .will a single aspirin, taken before an air trip, really do any good? I've never heard of that. . .I've only heard of taking low-dose ASA as part of a daily regimen. . .But, if a physican is advocating an ASA before any car trip, that would, for most of us, be a dose of ASA/day. BUT, what if you are in a car accident, and you're bleeding? If a single dose of ASA (though, if you are taking ASA before all car trips, that amounts to a steady dosing) could be of value in preventing a clot, could it not also be an agent that prevents clotting, so that you could keep bleeding, as you might in a car accident, and lose an excessive amount of blood? (OK, I am off topic - my apology in advance. My husband, who has LOTS of MI risk factors, takes a low-dose ASA every day, and has for a few years. However, in July, 2006, he was not yet taking the daily ASA - that was when he fell down our large flight of stairs, had multiple fractures, a concussion, and lacerations all over the place. . .if it wasn't broken, it was bleeding. . .the paramedics who responded, kindly mopped up the large pool of blood with towels and pillowcases, and tossed them behind a chair - and they were soaked through! - so that my younger children wouldn't see - just before they put him on the backboard and we went off in the ambulance. I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT HE WASN'T TAKING THE ASA AT THAT TIME, or I probably would have been a widow that night (by the later comment of doctors, not of my own appraisal). Just saying, from this traumatic experience, the notion of prophylactic aspirin therapy cuts both ways.

loves to skate
05-03-2011, 12:30 PM
You are absolutely correct that the notion of aspirin therapy could cut both ways. However, if you were taking aspirin, the maximum dose allowable for several days in a row, you would definitely be in trouble if you were in a serious accident. Low dose aspirin affects some of the platelets that your body makes on a daily basis, but not all, so it gives you the advantage for hopefully preventing a heart attack, but the platelets not affected by the aspirin will hopefully prevent you from bleeding out if you are in a serious accident. I say serious because if you only had minor cuts, you can stop the bleeding with pressure.
It takes about 12 days for all of the platelets affected by aspirin to be replaced with new platelets.
Also, when traveling, either by car or airplane, it is a good idea to stop the car and get out and walk for a few minutes, and on an airplane, walk the aisles it they allow you to do that now. Anyone can form clots, not just people who have had recent surgery.
Sally

LindaRacine
05-03-2011, 12:36 PM
Mgs...Im dumbfounded at the inconsistencies in the airport security system. It all depends on the day and the mood of the agents it seems. What the hell was she gonna do with a checked razor? so stupid...so my question is when is it ok to fly...not that I really have a choice my daughter is graduating from college the end of may and Im not sitting in the car for five hours Im flying to Albany and she will pick me up for the hour's ride to Oneonta. Then I just booked a trip to Florida for the first week of June so I guess I'm asking after the cow is out of the barn but I would like to hear any tips or comments...thanks guys!
Sarahcant... I work in a spine center where we get a lot of patients from out of town, and even out of the country. These patients routinely travel by plane within a week or two of surgery, but I agree that it's best to check with one's physician.

--LInda

loves to skate
05-23-2011, 12:05 PM
Hi all,
Just got back from a flight to see Dr. Rand. I was all prepared for the "pat down" and glad to say it didn't happen either at the New Bern airport or the Providence airport. No x-ray for me either. Whew! I hope it doesn't happen at Raleigh-Durham or Seattle also when we fly out in a week or so to help celebrate my hubby's Aunt's 100th birthday.
Sally

sarahcant
05-23-2011, 07:27 PM
Hi everyone just got back from graduation. Should have just driven! The flight going to Albany was delayed for three hours due to weather and then coming back it was delayed due to mechanical problems for four hours...so sitting in the airport was just as annoying as a car. I did not however set off any security systems but did get a wheelchair everywhere which was great...I didnt even have to wait on line! I walked around alot and I was fine. I asked my doc the aspirin question and he said if I wanted to I could take a baby asprin but since I dont have any clotting problems I should be fine. Glad thats over with...now on to Florida next week!

djkinkead
05-24-2011, 08:17 PM
Last time I flew through Dulles, some older gentleman, who must have had a hip replacement, showed a card to the TSA guy and pointed to his hip. Can't recall, but pretty sure he just had to go through the regular metal detector.

Can't we get "cards" that would explain the hardware?

LindaRacine
05-24-2011, 08:37 PM
Last time I flew through Dulles, some older gentleman, who must have had a hip replacement, showed a card to the TSA guy and pointed to his hip. Can't recall, but pretty sure he just had to go through the regular metal detector.

Can't we get "cards" that would explain the hardware?

You might want to talk to your surgeon's office. At UCSF, we issue cards to any patient who asks.

Linda

loves to skate
05-25-2011, 11:01 AM
It is my understanding that cards from Doctors, x-rays, etc. could come from anybody (fraud) and are not accepted as proof of anything at airport security. What agent has the time to check the validity of that information? I was impressed at the efficiency of the security process this last trip.
Sally

Radiogirl
05-27-2011, 07:33 PM
Just flew through Cleveland, Tampa and St. Louis....walked right through all of the scanners and nothing was detected. I can't understand why, with so much metal in me! Must be the depth of it or something?

LindaRacine
05-27-2011, 10:07 PM
Hi Laura...

It appears that the vast majority of us never set off alarms. I have a lot of metal (both anterior and posterior implants), and don't set off the alarms. The metal from spine implants is pretty far inside, and there's a considerable amount of tissue between the implants and the skin.

Regards,
Linda

titaniumed
05-27-2011, 10:41 PM
Here is a little study on the subject.

http://web.jbjs.org.uk/cgi/reprint/79-B/3/388.pdf

Ed

Doodles
05-27-2011, 10:48 PM
I always set them off now. The ones doing the pat downs say that a card will be of no use. If you set them off you will be scanned and patted down. Janet

jrnyc
05-28-2011, 02:40 AM
hmmm...
i would think just showing airport security the scar would convince them...
maybe scare them to...hah!

jess

titaniumed
05-28-2011, 11:23 AM
Jess

I am having trouble finding my scar now. Iím serious, my front scar has almost completely faded away. Either Iím a good healer, or Iím going blind.

Scars really have a way of blending in, as time passes...its amazing.

I didnít use any products on them at all.
Ed

jrnyc
05-28-2011, 03:44 PM
that's amazing, Ed!
i can still see where my scar is from a catheter that was implanted in my chest and stayed there for a year and a half (for Lyme IV tx)...& that is after having laser tx on the scar!

maybe you should have taken some pix of the scars first...hah!
as a remembrance, as if you could ever forget what you went through!

someone once suggested getting a zipper tatoo on scoli surgery scars, just to show them off...
i think that would look great!

jess

Susie*Bee
05-28-2011, 05:44 PM
I've never set off a detector... I'm wondering if it will make any difference now that I've lost weight. I guess I'll have to wait and see.

One of the younger girls, Rosie1109 I think, a couple of years back had a temporary tattoo of a zipper down her scar. It looked really cool. (big smile)

loves to skate
06-07-2011, 04:08 PM
Hi all,
I just got back from a trip to Seattle from the Raleigh-Durham airport. One airport used metal detectors and the other one used the see all x-rays. No problems what so ever. No pat downs for me. It must be that they have seen enough spinal implants by now that they don't bother with the pat downs. Thank goodness.
Sally

golfnut
06-07-2011, 07:09 PM
Ed,
I love your sense of humor!

golfnut
06-07-2011, 07:48 PM
Ed,
I love your sense of humor!

jeneemohler
06-08-2011, 01:44 AM
I just returned from a trip to Seattle for a concert. (U2 absolutely ROCKED!)

I never set off anything in the airport-I just waltzed right through. What is funny is that my husband was flagged for a random enhanced search. Here we thought he would breeze through and I would be the lucky one with a pat down!

The other biggie is I walked. And walked. And walked and walked! And I was in no pain whatsoever. We didn't rent a car, we just took the light rail into town, and walked everywhere for 3 days. Up and down hills and stairs. I am so amazed that I held up so well. Life can sure be good post op!

Just a funny FYI...For some reason, I thought I was 6 months along. One day, I just realized out of the blue that I was only having my 5 month anniversary, so I guess I'm doing even better than I expected! LOL I can't even blame it on pain meds-haven't been on them for months. I swear!!

golfnut
06-08-2011, 04:11 AM
Jenee',
I had noticed that you said 6 months previously and knew your surgery was a few days after mine and stopped and recounted my months post-op. It makes your accomplishments even better since you are 5 months. Glad you enjoyed the concert and were able to walk, walk, walk! I had a first two days ago. I went to a high school baseball game and stood in one place for an hour without pain. I could never have done that before my surgery.

jeneemohler
06-09-2011, 11:14 AM
Isn't it amazing how the little things others take for granted are such big deals to us? We went to the concert a couple hours early to avoid the rush, around 5 pm. The concert ran from 7-11:30. I cannot believe I sat in one place for so long without any pain. Of course, we stood part of the time to be-bop to the music, too!
Now I'm home planting plants and working in the yard. We had our first heat wave of the season yesterday-68 degrees-and NO rain! Woo Hoo!!!

braceyourself
06-13-2011, 10:16 AM
I've been through Dulles airport in DC and Tampa airport in Florida and went right through the scanner with no problem. To be honest I was a little disappointed that no alarms went off! :-)

Nitram

I had a full spinal fusion and have flown many, many times. I have never set it off. Actually, I was a little disappointed too! :D

Katie

backissues
06-17-2011, 02:43 PM
I haven't been through the airport security yet but am glad to hear that I may get through without setting off the alarms.

The walking and standing has made a new life for me. My husband and I are exploring a variety of local parks and sightseeing parts of Boston and the North Shore of Boston. I can't wait to walk the beach.

Karen and Jenee - I know just what you mean. It makes the post-op aches and pains worth it.

Before surgery, I made a list of every place that hurt me down my legs and back. Those pains would never go away and probably would have gotten worse. The new aches and pains will go away. Pain-free walking and standing is worth all of it.

golfnut
06-17-2011, 04:12 PM
Way to go, Irene! I'm happy for you.

Elisa
06-17-2011, 05:25 PM
I haven't been through the airport security yet but am glad to hear that I may get through without setting off the alarms.

The walking and standing has made a new life for me. My husband and I are exploring a variety of local parks and sightseeing parts of Boston and the North Shore of Boston. I can't wait to walk the beach.

Karen and Jenee - I know just what you mean. It makes the post-op aches and pains worth it.

Before surgery, I made a list of every place that hurt me down my legs and back. Those pains would never go away and probably would have gotten worse. The new aches and pains will go away. Pain-free walking and standing is worth all of it.

Glad you're getting about and enjoying yourself. My son is eight weeks post-op (two surgeries) and I see improvement in him almost daily it seems and he's up and about and doesn't even mention anything about pain which is a huge relief b/c he was in a lot of pain before his surgeries and obviously for a while after.

Congratulations on your city winning the Stanley Cup btw. *sniff* And I'm sorry that some idiots in Vancouver rioted after the loss, torched the town and harassed some Boston fans. How humiliating. Glad I live on Vancouver Island and NOT in Vancouver.

backissues
06-18-2011, 09:31 AM
Karen and Elisa,
Thanks.

The Bruins rally is going on right now. I used to work on Boylston Street in Boston. The rallies go right down the street so I used to take the elevator down to the street and stand on the front steps to watch. This made the group watching level with the duck boats on which rode the athletes. I brought my "cane seat" and sat to watch. I really couldn't stand that long. Though I can stand as long as I like now, I will watch the rally on TV.

Elisa, Glad you are safe from the riots.

Irene

naptown78
06-24-2011, 09:46 PM
I set off all the alarms every time I fly...then they take me aside and pat me down. No biggie, just a minor inconvenience and then I'm on my way...