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Security with metal implant

Hi all. Getting a hip replacement son and traveling to switzerland in sept. My doc says they no longer issue implant cards due to heightened security. I have had friends who reported hit or miss with security checks in while traveling abroad. One had to have a special check in a private room. Cant remember where.

Anyone have experience in geneva or zurich airports? Im sure all is dependent on who you get but curious. Thanks

Posted by
46 posts

We have been traveling through Europe on RS tours since 2014 when I my first hip replacement. I have never got through security without having to have the personal wand check. I just walk to that area now and point to my hip. They wave me in and run the check and then they go me. Never had an issue.
Ps having the replacement done was the best decision I have made. Done in early April and did the BOItaly in Sept with no issues. Just had the second one this mid Dec and the procedure and recovery has really improved.
My wife and I have worked out the security procedure. We load the conveyer and she moves through with the bags while I wait. That gives her a change to keep an eye our carryons and personal items go through while I get checked.
Enjoy your trip. PM me if you want more information.

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks Don. Very helpful. I figured it would be just the extra wand check. Glad you have had great experience with new hip. Im looking forward to it. Thanks for tips!

Posted by
7528 posts

The information you got is correct. Cards are no longer issued, general advice is to inform them that you have metal or an implant and where before going through (they usually are asking if everything is out of your pockets, etc. anyway.), then if you set off the alarm, they likely will just wand you and send you on your way. Not sure of an implant, but many with plates and screws report sometimes they set it off, other times no, I suppose depending on the airport and personnel, you might get a more thorough search, there is no "standard policy" on purpose, it is up to the personnel to assess and take action as needed. One perk of being old is not being perceived as a threat, so usually just a quick wand and off you go, they may also send you through the scanner unit to verify the location (and lack of metal elsewhere).

Posted by
669 posts

I have a knee replacement and plates in my wrist. I have travelled through dozens of airports domestically and international, and when I get to the place to walk through the scan I just point to my knee and they wave me over to the other machine. Sometimes it's an easy two second scan and sometimes they do a follow-up with the wand, but neither are invasive or time consuming. Of course, every airport is different, but you don't have anything to worry about. And you will be so happy that you had the hip replacement done!

And I agree with the other poster that I have my husband keep an eye on my stuff on the conveyor belt.

Posted by
16215 posts

I would advise them before you head through the scanner.

Getting “wanded” is no big deal. I sometimes get it myself for the little metal markers left in my chest when I had a lumpectomy years ago. They do not do the wanding behind a screen unless you ask, which I don’t because it would take extra time.

But one time in Switzerland, they pulled me aside for a full pat-down, and we went behind the screen. I told the female inspector in German that it was just metal markers from cancer surgery, and she said curtly, “We don’t do that here. I have to check you”.