Do you 'beep' at the airport? - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Do you 'beep' at the airport?


I am just curious, as I was told that the chest bone was wired up after surgery so wondered if any of you who have been on holiday after surgery have set off the metal detectors at the airport and will a 'heart bypass' comment suffice? :-)

18 Replies
skid112Heart Star

morning, I haven't set off any UK metal detectors but I did set off a Spanish one, had nothing on me to set it off, searched asked to go through again, beeped again so attempted my poor Spanish and showed the top of my scar, was waved through.

Off away again in two weeks (two weeks today!!) will let you know what happens

in reply to skid112

Happy holidays....))))

in reply to skid112

Have a fab time - I would just like to be prepared! :-D

Funny not something I would have thought of. Still makes the journey more interesting, hahaaa....

I know, my brain goes to the oddest places!

never in 20 years after my first sternotomy.


It might be fun to keep a log of every airport you go through and if you beep, Heather! :)

You should have been given a document called Patient Identification Card in 5 different languages which you would present to the operators of scanning equipment so that you do not have to pass through the x-ray machine - this could damage your implant/ICD.

Really!! I wasn't given anything I wonder if others were?

I do not think she was referring to an implantable therapeutic device. "chest bone was wired up after " These are like shoe laces and hold the breastbone together while it heals. Once healed they are actually redundant to use. The metal detector could not damage them if it tried.

Actually even if it was a therapeutic device there is more health and safety gone mad than truth in the saying that X-Ray machines will damage cardiac devices- they use X-rays to check the location of the devices and CT Scanner (much more powerful than airport X-Rays machines) to check heart function in people with implantable devices as they can not go in Magnetic Fields. This is from experience of having cardiac devices in.

skid112Heart Star

I think its referring to a pacemaker and not to a bypass, certainly I didn't get anything

I was fitted with an ICD back in 2012 & on my discharge was given the document which I was told to carry at all times in case I collapsed so that the paramedics would know what I had fitted & when.

Yes I was given the same with the reveal devices that were fitted but not for the metal ties used post Open Heart.

I'm sorry I think I just misunderstood the original post.

Yes I only meant the wiring up of the chest bone not any electrical device as I didn't have one of those fitted (well not that they told me ;-) )

No worries! I've never set off any alarms & have been through plenty. Enjoy your holidays!

I had an MRI scan recently and although the radiographer insisted on seeing my original notes there was no problem with the wiring or with my artificial mitral valve. This implies that some of the metal work used can sometimes cause a problem with the strong magnetic fields involved.

I am obviously 'sad' as I would be curious to see what it looks like under an xray! :-D

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