Carrying a “Clip Card” with you post craniotomy clipping

Perhaps, I was informed and don’t remember post craniotomy clipping for an 8mm long neck ICA with daughter aneurysms along for the ride, that I needed to carry with me a “Clip card” with me always.
The card is filled out by my endovascular surgeon
with the model and serial number of each of the clips installed. The reasons I was given is in case I needed an MRI, the technician would know what type of clips I have and IF I would be able to have an MRI on the MRI machine they would be using.
I guess it is like having the same issue with having a pacemaker and getting an MRI. I was also advise by the MRI technician to wear a medical alert bracelet stating that I have titanium clips for brain aneurysms and no MRI unless they call the phone number on the Medical Alert bracket to find out my medical history and the model and serial number of my clips. I assume this is in case I was unconscious.

I just returned from a trip to Europe where before security screening at each airport and showing the guard my “Clip Card”, I was not allowed to go through the regular screening but to go around the screening machine to be screened with the portable hand held screener. The same for the United States.
Has anyone else had this experience?

Hello @Suzanne
I have coils and a stent, I have not gone through the clipping surgery as you have. I also carry a card about my stent that was given to me by the neurosurgeon. I am advised to bring it with me at all times and to show the card to the healthcare staff when I have an appointment. It has regulations if I ever need an MRI. I specifically asked the neurosurgeon if I could fly and if I could go through the security screening, he said it was no problems for me to do that, the alarm system would not go off. So, until today’s date I have made three trips back and forth to Europe. I didn’t show the card to the person who was there. Nothing happened. I don’t know if it is different for you, perhaps the staff at the neurosurgery clinic can answer your question.

My clip is actually porcelain, so I don’t have a problem with machines or magnetics. What I did have, though, was the fear of the MRI tech because he didn’t believe me when I said that. The doctor who did the surgery has died so he can’t verify my clip type, but I have a copy of his notes on a previous tech order that I pull out when necessary. I also have kept the same family doctor for years, so she is great at calming the worries of test givers.

Hey Suzanne,

Yes, I have had a similar experience travelling. I don’t have clips but I do have a shunt with a magnetic valve and a few bits of metal holding my skull back together. My wife and I travelled from Australia to the UK and around Europe. I had to have all of this paperwork saying why, where and what. I too was diverted around some scanners, but not all, some airport security paid little attention to the documentation. And those scanners I was diverted around I too had the wand scanner passed over, around, up, down.

Upon returning to Australia I made an appointment with the neuro, just to confirm the valve setting.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

I have cards for my flow diverters. I don’t need them for airports, but I do for MRI techs. When I schedule imaging I give them the models and serial numbers in advance so there are no delays on screening day.

Thank you, for sharing your experience with your clip card and traveling to and from Europe. It’s interesting that I have titanium screws and rods in my lumbar fusion and not once had any problems with airport security here in the states or abroad. These brain aneurysm titanium clips evidently are a different story. I will check with my surgeons to find out the scoop.

Hey, KrysG, Porcelain! I was unaware that there were porcelain clips. Yikes on that your doctor passed away and couldn’t verify your clip type. I am glad you had a copy of his notes to help verify what he installed and that your family doc is great at calming worries. All the best to you!

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Hey Merl, Isn’t interesting that we all have different airport security experiences with these life saving devices implanted in our brains and in our skulls? I am not complaining but curious about what other of us has experienced with airport/MRI screenings and our devices.You were smart to make an appointment with your neuro to confirm the valve setting.

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Interesting? Not quite the words I’d use but, yes. Very. Hence why I got it all checked. I’ve had some major issues with shunt malfunctions previously and the consequences can be nasty. If I can avoid that again, I certainly will.

Now, in that post you said about MRI scans. Initially, I had a fixed pressure valve, so scans weren’t an issue. They replaced the valve with a programmable valve, basically magnetic. In the hospital, when the shunt was replaced, I was told ‘No more MRI’s.’ I saw an external neurologist, outside of the hospital system and he sent me for a scan, an MRI. I objected, but he informed me it would be all OK. They just needed a techy there to confirm the setting AFTER the scan had been taken. I’ve probably had 10-15 MRI’s, but that one I was a ball of stress just waiting for the MRI magnets to rip this thing from my skull. As you can tell, it all went OK, but when you receive mixed messages, whose information is correct???

Merl from the Modsupport Team