Airport X-ray results

Posted by JK, Volunteer Mentor @contentandwell, Tue, Aug 20 1:34pm

Ever since my transplant, I get stopped when I go through that machine in security at the airport, and I even got stopped going to Ellis Island on the ferry! The airport machine shows a suspect area in my shoulders and upper chest, and in my upper thighs. This started with my first flight post-transplant, about a year after my transplant and since then I've had about 10 flights, the last in February. I will be flying on Thursday morning so I know I will get stopped then too.

Has anyone else had a problem flying? I am wondering what it could possibly be and since this did not happen before I had a transplant I can only think that maybe the immunosuppressants collect in the tissues in that part of my body and have a metallic component, but I am very curious. I asked my transplant contact at MGH last year and she didn't seem to have any idea at all.

I realize just knowing the cause won't stop it, I will still apparently always get stopped, but I can't help but wonder why.
JK

I have never had this happen to me. I transplanted in 2009, and I only fly once a year for vacation.

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@rosemarya

I have never had this happen to me. I transplanted in 2009, and I only fly once a year for vacation.

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@rosemarya I can’t remember if I had changed to sirolimus before this started happening or not. I think I was still on tacrolimus though. The first time it happened I thought it must something like a body cream so the next time I made sure to not use that but it just keeps happening.
I do have to say that each agent that has patted me down has been respectful and done it as well as possible so I wouldn’t feel upset at all.
JK

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Hi @contentandwell. I have experienced the same situation. Just to and from Chicago during this past week. The xray machine found something in my shoulder area on the way to Chicago and at OHare there was something in my upper thigh groin area. Never happened before my transplant. Honestly, I thought it was a fluke, but I saw the images myself.

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I have flown since my transplant and have been stopped as well as at the government center screening. I always tell them I have an artificial knee. They check me with the wand, and at the airport a pat down, and I’m allowed to go on.

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I know as a Heart transplant recipient i wonder if the sterno wire would cause a problem but haven't flown yet. I have been thru metal detectors without problem but not at the airport yet.

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@contentandwell

@rosemarya I can’t remember if I had changed to sirolimus before this started happening or not. I think I was still on tacrolimus though. The first time it happened I thought it must something like a body cream so the next time I made sure to not use that but it just keeps happening.
I do have to say that each agent that has patted me down has been respectful and done it as well as possible so I wouldn’t feel upset at all.
JK

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@contentandwell I know this sounds way out there but have you had an xray to make sure the surgeons didn't mistakenly leave something metal in you? Crazy I know but it has happened.

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Wow, how interesting! But that triggered my memory, that in June as I left Providence, RI to fly back to California, the machine indicated something also. I have not had a transplant [my husband, yes, but he was not along]. They had to do a patdown, also, and found nothing. I will be flying in October and wonder what will happen then….
Ginger

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@gaylea1

@contentandwell I know this sounds way out there but have you had an xray to make sure the surgeons didn't mistakenly leave something metal in you? Crazy I know but it has happened.

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I have an xray every time I'm at Mayo or even at my PCP or pulmonologist (I had sarcoidosis) if I have a cold. Nothing has shown up. Always all clear.

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@estrada53

Hi @contentandwell. I have experienced the same situation. Just to and from Chicago during this past week. The xray machine found something in my shoulder area on the way to Chicago and at OHare there was something in my upper thigh groin area. Never happened before my transplant. Honestly, I thought it was a fluke, but I saw the images myself.

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@estrada53 Thank you, I feel better to hear that it happened to someone else. Expect it to be a regular thing, it has been every time, and as I said, I’ve been through that machine about 10 times. Seems odd that it’s just very few of us that this is happening to. What immunosuppressants do you take? I take sirolimus and prednisone.

@cmael I have had two TKRs but neither has ever been a problem and they are two different replacement brands.

@gaylea1 I think the whereabouts of where something is showing up makes that pretty unlikely, plus I have had hip and leg x-rays for my recent fracture and other and nothing showed on them. Thanks to you and to cmael for the suggestions though.
JK

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@contentandwell

@estrada53 Thank you, I feel better to hear that it happened to someone else. Expect it to be a regular thing, it has been every time, and as I said, I’ve been through that machine about 10 times. Seems odd that it’s just very few of us that this is happening to. What immunosuppressants do you take? I take sirolimus and prednisone.

@cmael I have had two TKRs but neither has ever been a problem and they are two different replacement brands.

@gaylea1 I think the whereabouts of where something is showing up makes that pretty unlikely, plus I have had hip and leg x-rays for my recent fracture and other and nothing showed on them. Thanks to you and to cmael for the suggestions though.
JK

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@contentandwell, I am curious about your most recent security X-ray. Did you have any problem this time?

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@rosemarya

@contentandwell, I am curious about your most recent security X-ray. Did you have any problem this time?

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@rosemarya Yes, I sure did get stopped again. The check on the way out they patted me down but I didn’t see the screen showing where I was “glowing”. I did see it before our return flight and it was a bit different than previously, but same general areas. This time there was more showing on my neck, less on my shoulders, and only one thigh and my groin. .

Off that specific topic, I wish I would never have to go through Denver airport again. It’s so huge, the largest airport in the country, and I hate it! Unfortunately, since my son now lives there I see many future trips to and from there. LAX was so much easier.
JK

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@rosemarya, @contentandwell, Flying is a real hassle for me, I always get stopped and then it begins. First it was zippers. So I wore floaty pants and they thought I might have something in the legs. So then I wore yoga pants….pull on, tight legs.

Still got stopped and because one of the TSA folks who was new touched the panic button, out came reinforcements and it was a total search of everything in my carry on and my purse as well as my body and especially my hands. They had to get a cart to get me to the plane on time,

Next time, I was stopped again and this search violated my body and was humiliating. I thought I was being targeted. Come to find out, it was not the metal. It was either body lotion with a certain ingredient or the lidocaine compound I had on my hands and wrists. So now I just prepare for it. They even gave me the name of the offending ingredient which is used in many cosmetics and lotion. I will research that for you (need a memory boost.). May you have a peaceful day. Chris

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@artscaping

@rosemarya, @contentandwell, Flying is a real hassle for me, I always get stopped and then it begins. First it was zippers. So I wore floaty pants and they thought I might have something in the legs. So then I wore yoga pants….pull on, tight legs.

Still got stopped and because one of the TSA folks who was new touched the panic button, out came reinforcements and it was a total search of everything in my carry on and my purse as well as my body and especially my hands. They had to get a cart to get me to the plane on time,

Next time, I was stopped again and this search violated my body and was humiliating. I thought I was being targeted. Come to find out, it was not the metal. It was either body lotion with a certain ingredient or the lidocaine compound I had on my hands and wrists. So now I just prepare for it. They even gave me the name of the offending ingredient which is used in many cosmetics and lotion. I will research that for you (need a memory boost.). May you have a peaceful day. Chris

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@artscaping Thanks Chris. The first time I was stopped my first thought was my body lotion so on the return flight I didn’t use it, but I still got stopped! Plus, I do not put lotion on my upper thighs. Even if I figure out what is causing it I probably won’t be able to change anything because i think the most probable suspect is a medication. 🤨
JK

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@contentandwell

@artscaping Thanks Chris. The first time I was stopped my first thought was my body lotion so on the return flight I didn’t use it, but I still got stopped! Plus, I do not put lotion on my upper thighs. Even if I figure out what is causing it I probably won’t be able to change anything because i think the most probable suspect is a medication. 🤨
JK

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@contentandwell, So…do we really know if it is something? Is glycerin the culprit? I don't know….I just know I get stopped every time. And it is not for the yellow areas on the machine…. for my TKR and Reverse Shoulder. It is elsewhere. Even shampoo can have glycerin. Or the soap in public restrooms. Did you read the report by Fodor's? I can reshare it for you.
Have some joy this evening. Chris

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@artscaping I have had two TKRs and they never pose a problem!
I think I read the report if it's the link you posted elsewhere. I didn't notice if it was from Fodor's. I will be more careful in the future, but we are always VERY early getting to the airport. My husband tends to want to get everywhere extremely early. Sometimes it can be ridiculous. We got to Denver airport for our trip home at 5:00 PM. Our flight was at 9:45! My son said we could relax at his house (he was away on his honeymoon) if we needed to waste time but my husband would not do that. It was sort of ridiculous.
JK

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