Prosthetic devices are replacement body parts widely used in modern medical treatment. They may be fitted internally or externally and include replacement lenses in the eye following cataract surgery, artificial heart valves, breast implants and external prostheses used in cosmetic surgery or following breast cancer treatment, hip replacements and artificial limbs.
Both internal and external devices that are partly or completely made of metal are likely to be detected by the archway metal detectors. Other external devices, such as external breast prostheses, may also be detected by whole-body scanners. Security staff may wish to carry out an additional hand search if you are found to be wearing an external prosthesis. This would be carried out in a private room and you would be able to ask for the search to be done by a security staff member of the same sex as you. You can also ask for a friend or family member travelling with you to be in the room while the search is carried out.
It may be helpful to carry a letter from your doctor confirming that you have been fitted with the medical prosthesis, whether this is fitted internally or is an external device. This should be shown to the security staff, if possible before you go through screening.
Additional useful information for those who have had breast implants or wear an external breast prosthesis is available from the breast cancer charity, at:
Breast Cancer Care