View Full Version : What is required to pass an airport inspection? Haven't flown yet since surgery

12-10-2014, 03:11 PM
Anyone know what is required to get thru airline search inspections with hardware in your body?

12-10-2014, 03:31 PM
In the United States: I understand that Titanium is not detected in the airport metal screen ( that's the hand held wand). I have gone through numerous airport scans in the standup scan that envelops your body and you place your hands over your head). They can see your hardware via their scanner. Sometimes the scanner says, " you have a lot of hardware", but most of the time, they say nothing.

I am unsure what happens in scanners in other countries, but the hand scanner in Mumbai, India found my ankle titanium hardware (I had not had my back surgery at that point).....the scanner lady did not speak much English. She kept scanning my naked leg, somehow thinking that she would find something different. I showed her the scar, which had pretty much faded and she finally figured that I was OK.


12-10-2014, 03:34 PM
Somebody a while back mentioned some documentation that is required.

12-10-2014, 03:44 PM
I have flown quite a few times since my full fusion and nothing was needed. In fact I never set any alarms at the airport off, but did at the Empire State Building. I then explained my rods, showed my scar and was passed through. You should be okay at the airports though.


12-10-2014, 04:02 PM
Documentation is not needed or used as the agents say it can be falsified. Body scanner if available and then they still wand you or do a pat down. Just allow extra time for this.

12-10-2014, 08:53 PM
I flew to SF and back last spring…first time since surgery. I set off the alarm in the phone-booth type scanner, and they briefly patted down my back. I offered to show my scar and they were quick to say that wouldn't be necessary. Coming home, in SF, I sailed through security no problem.

Don't worry, it will not be a problem. You do not need any type of documentation.

12-10-2014, 10:47 PM
Hi Pam,

How are you doing? I've set off airport scanners and then I haven't. I carry a TSA Hidden Disability card and that makes things SO much easier in regards to agents attitude toward me. They are very helpful every time I show my card. The times I didn't have my card, I experience nasty attitudes from the agents. When we flew to Paris, I reprinted a second card in French and I was whisked through very quickly.


12-10-2014, 11:00 PM
I have both anterior and posterior stainless steel implants. Most of the time I do not set off any sensors. Sometimes I do, and believe it's got nothing to do with the implants. The times I've set off the sensors, they simply wand me down and ask if I have any implants. It probably helps that I'm 65, and don't look like much of a threat.

At work, if a patient asks, we give out a card that states that they have spinal implants, but as pointed out previously, that could very easily be faked.


12-11-2014, 02:08 AM
How does one get a TSA disability card? I didn't know there was such a thing. Is there some online form for this that I can get my doctor to sign? It would be good to have for traveling. Thanks,

12-11-2014, 09:15 AM
I do not think there is a disability card.I do think you can get a fast pass through the TSA. I think you pay a fee and they take an application. Anything the Dr can give you will not be hooked at as it can be falsified. It really isn't hard, just takes longer. My implants are titanium and I set off the alarm. You can also use a wheelchair and they will take you to a specific line. I have gone through the body scanner and still wander. I do not like the body search but just go with it. With the body search I tell them my spine hurts and do not push on it.New York was the worst because they were very rude. I feel they can do there job without attitude. I have not committed a crime so I do not have to be treated as if I had. The biggest delay was san diego. But I had allowed extra time. The only time I disclosed the metal ahead of time was on a cruise. But it was not a problem .

12-11-2014, 10:02 AM
I've never set off an alarm. There's no point worrying about things ahead of time. As Linda said, it's usually no big deal.