Traveling with a Pacemaker
It’s important to know that you can travel safely with a pacemaker device as long as you know how to prepare and talk to your doctor about any special precautions to take. Learn more about going through airport security, finding a doctor while traveling and other tips for having a successful trip with a pacemaker.
Important to Know
- You can travel safely with a pacemaker by taking extra precautions.
- The Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) full body scanner will not harm your pacemaker system or change the settings.
- Your pacemaker will set off airport metal detectors, so you should not go through them.
- You should always carry your Medical Device ID Card while traveling.
Airport Security for Pacemaker Patients
Going through airport security can be confusing even for people without pacemakers. To help make the process easier, be sure to show your Medical Device ID Card at the first security station. This card identifies you as a pacemaker patient. After showing your card, follow the security staff’s directions. Depending on the airport, the staff may do one of the following:
- Send you through the security full body scanner. The Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) full body scanner will not harm your pacemaker system or change the programmed settings. However, your device contains metal parts that may set off airport security metal detector alarms, so you should not go through the metal detector.
- Use a hand-held security wand. If held over your pacemaker for too long, airport security wands could temporarily affect your device. If a wand must be used, tell the security officer that you have an implanted device, that the search must be done quickly and not to hold the wand over your pacemaker.
- Do a hand-pat search. If you request a hand-pat search, you can ask them to do it in a private area away from public view.
NOTE: The full body scanner will show your device on their image, but it will not sound an alarm while you are inside. You may be asked to show your Medical Device ID Card or they may ask you to stand aside for a hand-pat search.
Medical Device Identification Card
Whether you are going away for the weekend or running a quick errand, it’s important to carry your Medical Device ID Card with you at all times. In an emergency, the card will alert medical and security personnel that you have an implanted device.
Patient Security Card
In addition to your Medical Device ID Card, Boston Scientific offers a security card for you to carry when traveling domestically or internationally. The card explains that your implanted device may trigger airport security alarms and is printed in 13 languages. To get a Medical Device Patient Security Card, call us at 1-866-484-3268.
Find a Heart Specialist While Traveling
Search for facilities around the world that have treated patients with Boston Scientific pacemakers and may be able to help you with your device while traveling.
Talk to Your Doctor
Every pacemaker patient’s situation is unique. So it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to safely resume normal activities after your pacemaker procedure.
Resources and Support
We're Here to Help
Our patient support team is happy to help answer all your questions about living with your device.
Phone: (866) 484-3268
Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Central
Individual symptoms, situations, and circumstances may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified health provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. The information provided is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice.