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Old 06-20-2007, 10:52 PM   #1
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Unhappy Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

OK so here's the scenario. My mom had breast implants back in August. She came home that day sick & has had complications ever since. She overheard them that day talking about losing a needle. She asked if they ever found it & was told no. She wonders if the sickness that started later that day & continued could be from the needle being inside her. She has been nauseous, diarrhea, bleeding, fatigued...just feeling TERRIBLE. She can't get her family doc to do an x-ray, and the surgeon who did the surgery has tried to dismiss the very idea that it is possible but finally ordered a mammogram. Of course, we think that's absurd. Why? B/c if it were in there, then the mammogram - which presses very hard - could cause worse problems like punctured lung or implant, internal bleeding... He should've just ordered a x-ray, MRI, or CT.

Anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:46 AM   #2
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

I can't see how a needle left inside a breast implant surgery could cause any symptoms except local ones, ie, local inflammation or infection. A mammogram is better than an ordinary xray, as it shows more of the breast itself, around the implant. I really think the sickness she is having cannot be related to this. Where is the bleeding? The mammogram will not cause any of the things you are afraid of; there is a good shield of rib and thick cartilege between the breast and any internal organs, and if it is in there, a needle-sized puncture of the implant will be the least of your worries (compared to immediate surgery, etc). I hope it all works out for you.

Last edited by Seraph; 06-21-2007 at 02:47 AM.

 
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:15 AM   #3
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

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Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
I can't see how a needle left inside a breast implant surgery could cause any symptoms except local ones, ie, local inflammation or infection. A mammogram is better than an ordinary xray, as it shows more of the breast itself, around the implant. I really think the sickness she is having cannot be related to this. Where is the bleeding? The mammogram will not cause any of the things you are afraid of; there is a good shield of rib and thick cartilege between the breast and any internal organs, and if it is in there, a needle-sized puncture of the implant will be the least of your worries (compared to immediate surgery, etc). I hope it all works out for you.
Actually, it's possible b/c things like that can migrate esp since it's sharp. Where they do the mammogram, there is NO cartilage or rib. They smash your actually breast NOT the ribs. I'm kinda shocked that a female would not know this. lol

Yes, an x-ray would be best...even an MRI b/c it will pick foreign bodies. In fact, I've seen medical shows where instruments were detected in just that way.

Depending on the position of the needle, the pressing could cause it to be pushed into the implant, lungs or even push downwards into other organs.

She could have this and not have outward symptoms like the inflammation or infection. They could may not even know it unless opened her back up. I've heard of that before too.

I'm not really sure where the bleeding is. I can't quite remember.

BTW...she has had a low grade fever on & off.

Also, I'll point out again. If it were something else, it would quite a coincidence that she didn't start getting sick 'til right after the surgery & hasn't gotten better since.

Thanks! I hope it all works out too.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:27 AM   #4
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

Quote:
Originally Posted by byHizgrc View Post
Actually, it's possible b/c things like that can migrate esp since it's sharp. Where they do the mammogram, there is NO cartilage or rib. They smash your actually breast NOT the ribs. I'm kinda shocked that a female would not know this. lol
Y
That is not what I said, I said it would not cause what you were afraid of, eg punctured lung, that the lungs were protected against this type of thing by a solid wall of ribs and cartilege. You must know in spite of what you said that there ARE ribs behind the breast, and the breast during a mammogram is not crushed against the chest wall, but rather sideways from it. If there is a needle in there, a mammogram would not push it towards the chest wall. So do not be shocked on my account, please, and look up an anatomy book. It will show you that the breast is on the outside of the chest, and the lungs are inside, behind a layer of muscle, fat, ribs, and cartilege.

Last edited by Seraph; 06-21-2007 at 06:37 AM.

 
Old 06-21-2007, 07:22 AM   #5
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

just as a precaution,she should have that X ray,it would show itself if it was actually left in there.anything metallic shows up really well on an X ray.they could even do this right before any mamogram right in the same radiology place she has the mam done.it just needs to be ruled out before anyones breast is smooshed down into those plates.

have you actually obtained the op notes from her surgery from the hosp where it was done?someone IS in charge of counting ALL instruments that are used in any surgery.if something was missing,it better be noted in those op notes.but that x ray has to be done at some point.any actual 'side effects/symptoms' from something like a needle being left inside the body wouldn't show up really quickly,if at all.it would take some time for the body to actually recognize it as being foreign,THEN the body would try and expell it or show itself by creating an infection/fever.this is just what the body does in normal people who have things that are not supposed to be there left in them for longer periods of time.depending on just how 'compatable' that particular metal was that was used would dictate whether or not the body would accept it or reject it.i have platnum coils inside my brain and titainium plate and screws inside my c spine and it just sits there with no problems at all.but this stuff was ment to be there,you know what i mean?a needle may not be accepted.do you know just what the purpose of this needle was or where it was supposedly placed into,like an artery,vein,was it an injection of some sort?you know what i am asking here?

you really DO need to obtain all of her medical records from that hospital and speak with her primary doc who could most likely have that x ray done right at their own clinic.her primary doc is supposed to be on HER side always.he has to do this part for her if there is ANY,even small risk that there actually could have been something left behind in her from any surgery.this goes with his job.your primary doc is the one in charge of co ordinating care for their patients,he or she is the one in charge,and they are also their patients advocate,their voice to the rest of their medical team.this just has to be done.he or she should know that.she has certain rights here and they are being denied.all she has to do is speak up really loudly or call the AMA.she has the right,given the facts here to DEMAND that her doc just do a simple x ray.she does need to know.if this 'needle' is actually in any vessel,it can cause some major complications down the road such as blood clot formation.

i wish your mom luck with this and hopefully everyone will just do the right thing here.she does have rights,all she has to do is excercise them.please let us know how things go,K? hopefully nothing was left behind and all is well.FB
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:28 AM   #6
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

The only thing I can say on this subject is do not get a mammogram, as you know, it is like putting your breast in a vice clamp. This can cause the implant to rupture, an x-ray or an mri is the best way to go, but be sure and ask if you can have an mri if you think there is a needle in there, you might be better off with just an x-ray, or maybe a sonnogram.

 
Old 06-21-2007, 07:37 AM   #7
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
That is not what I said, I said it would not cause what you were afraid of, eg punctured lung, that the lungs were protected against this type of thing by a solid wall of ribs and cartilege. You must know in spite of what you said that there ARE ribs behind the breast, and the breast during a mammogram is not crushed against the chest wall, but rather sideways from it. If there is a needle in there, a mammogram would not push it towards the chest wall. So do not be shocked on my account, please, and look up an anatomy book. It will show you that the breast is on the outside of the chest, and the lungs are inside, behind a layer of muscle, fat, ribs, and cartilege.
My point was that it depends on the location & positioning of the needle... plus the size. It's completely possible - under certain circumstances - that it could happen to go between the ribs. That's all I'm saying.

BTW... I'm a nursing student & know all that anatomy. That's why I know all - or several - of the possible scenarios even it could be a rare one.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:47 AM   #8
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

Quote:
Originally Posted by feelbad View Post
just as a precaution,she should have that X ray,it would show itself if it was actually left in there.anything metallic shows up really well on an X ray.they could even do this right before any mamogram right in the same radiology place she has the mam done.it just needs to be ruled out before anyones breast is smooshed down into those plates.

have you actually obtained the op notes from her surgery from the hosp where it was done?someone IS in charge of counting ALL instruments that are used in any surgery.if something was missing,it better be noted in those op notes.but that x ray has to be done at some point.any actual 'side effects/symptoms' from something like a needle being left inside the body wouldn't show up really quickly,if at all.it would take some time for the body to actually recognize it as being foreign,THEN the body would try and expell it or show itself by creating an infection/fever.this is just what the body does in normal people who have things that are not supposed to be there left in them for longer periods of time.depending on just how 'compatable' that particular metal was that was used would dictate whether or not the body would accept it or reject it.i have platnum coils inside my brain and titainium plate and screws inside my c spine and it just sits there with no problems at all.but this stuff was ment to be there,you know what i mean?a needle may not be accepted.do you know just what the purpose of this needle was or where it was supposedly placed into,like an artery,vein,was it an injection of some sort?you know what i am asking here?

you really DO need to obtain all of her medical records from that hospital and speak with her primary doc who could most likely have that x ray done right at their own clinic.her primary doc is supposed to be on HER side always.he has to do this part for her if there is ANY,even small risk that there actually could have been something left behind in her from any surgery.this goes with his job.your primary doc is the one in charge of co ordinating care for their patients,he or she is the one in charge,and they are also their patients advocate,their voice to the rest of their medical team.this just has to be done.he or she should know that.she has certain rights here and they are being denied.all she has to do is speak up really loudly or call the AMA.she has the right,given the facts here to DEMAND that her doc just do a simple x ray.she does need to know.if this 'needle' is actually in any vessel,it can cause some major complications down the road such as blood clot formation.

i wish your mom luck with this and hopefully everyone will just do the right thing here.she does have rights,all she has to do is excercise them.please let us know how things go,K? hopefully nothing was left behind and all is well.FB
Thanks so much! You offered some very helpful info. In fact, I hadn't even thought of getting the op records. I think that's a VERY good idea!!
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:40 AM   #9
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

Of course it is not a coincidence that she is having all of these issues right after surgery. I had this happen, but with a hernia repair. It took two years for the problem to show up on a CAT scan. What I don't get, is why is her family doctor not helping her?? I understand the surgeon, mine refused to see me after a while because I kept demanding an answer to what I knew was wrong, but my family doctor was a source of constant support to me, thank God. Her family doctor should be ashamed. Medical mistakes happen, even to good doctors. This buddy system is ridiculous and unethical. I would find her a new doctor ASAP. I would highly recommend an x-ray, CAT scan, and a mammogram after that. I have implants and have had many mammograms, and breast ultrasounds. She can opt for an ultrasound first, if it makes you both more comfortable.

Please let us know what you find out!

 
Old 06-21-2007, 09:16 AM   #10
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Angry Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

Quote:
Originally Posted by butrfligirl28 View Post
Of course it is not a coincidence that she is having all of these issues right after surgery. I had this happen, but with a hernia repair. It took two years for the problem to show up on a CAT scan. What I don't get, is why is her family doctor not helping her?? I understand the surgeon, mine refused to see me after a while because I kept demanding an answer to what I knew was wrong, but my family doctor was a source of constant support to me, thank God. Her family doctor should be ashamed. Medical mistakes happen, even to good doctors. This buddy system is ridiculous and unethical. I would find her a new doctor ASAP. I would highly recommend an x-ray, CAT scan, and a mammogram after that. I have implants and have had many mammograms, and breast ultrasounds. She can opt for an ultrasound first, if it makes you both more comfortable.

Please let us know what you find out!
I'm VERY ****** right now! She called & left a message for her doctor to order a CT, and the nurse called back & left a message with me. Her PCP is REFUSING to do it b/c she "doesn't want to get in the middle". She says she needs to get the surgeon to do it, but my mom doesn't trust that he'll do the right thing or lie about the results! Aaaarrrrggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!1
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:18 AM   #11
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

Find her a new doctor, and just tell them that she is having pain in her breast and chest. Don't get into the surgery, except to say that the surgeon does not think the pain is related. They will order tests if they are of any count. Since mammograms can be painful, simply ask for a chest x-ray and ultrasound, before putting her through the pain of a mammogram. Sounds reasonable to me! By the way, I would report her family doctor to the AMA board. What she is doing is covering her butt, not helping her patient. What if this is life-threatening? God Forbid, but she is potentially threatening your Mother's life because she doesn't want to get involved???? What??? Very unethical and it is medical neglect in my opinion. I would be furious too. Focus that energy into finding a new doctor ASAP.

Amanda

 
Old 06-21-2007, 10:21 AM   #12
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

By the way, get ALL of her medical records, and get copies of any reports from scans, ultrasounds, X-rays, ect. It is her right to have copies of ALL her medical records, even the nurse and doctor's notes. You may have to get tough to get them, but it is her medical records, therefore they belong to her! This should keep anyone from messing with test results. A radiologist will read her films, scans, ect. They will write an independant report, not the surgeon.

 
Old 06-25-2007, 06:05 AM   #13
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

Just wondering from OP. Wouldn't a MRI be more dangerous than a mammogram? If the needle is metal, and she goes in an MRI, couldn't the MRI rip the needle out? Just curious.

 
Old 06-25-2007, 06:31 AM   #14
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Re: Possible Surgical Tool Left Inside

Quote:
Originally Posted by megaforcetkd View Post
Just wondering from OP. Wouldn't a MRI be more dangerous than a mammogram? If the needle is metal, and she goes in an MRI, couldn't the MRI rip the needle out? Just curious.
I agree that chances are the MRI would be potentially more dangerous. I think she should've done the Mam & CT, but it's too late now b/c she's the mam as we speak. I think her doc may have ordered an x-ray of the chest today. I guess that's better than nothing. Still, one should've been done before the other.
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