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All TopicsForum: Surgery - Before, During, and After → Topic: Surgical clip seen on X-ray

Topic: Surgical clip seen on X-ray

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Dec 18, 2009 11:31PM

cheza wrote:

Hi all, i am brand new here, although over the past three years i have looked in many times at different posts, its all helped.  I did not know where to post this, so here goes. I had my yearly tests done a few weeks back, everthing was good, had no problems.  After  a few days i got out all the medical reports and on looking at the x-ray report it states that a surgical clip has been left behind. I had a mastectomy, plus reconstruction about three years ago. Now this might sound dumb but surly that clip is not suppose to be there.  Has anyone come accross this before? would lkie any suggestions as to what to do about it. 

 warn wishes

cheza 

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Posts 1 - 11 (11 total)

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Dec 18, 2009 11:34PM awb wrote:

I had a clip placed during my stereotactic core biopsy. Radiologist explained that it could be removed if I ended up with a lumpectomy or mastectomy (mine was removed during my lumpectomy), or it could be left in the breast indefinitely without any problems.

Anne

"I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future" Dx 9/5/2003, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes Surgery 9/16/2003 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 10/30/2003 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/5/2005 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2009 Evista (raloxifene)
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Dec 19, 2009 12:07AM SoCalLisa wrote:

My surgeon purposely left clips in to indicate exactly where the tumor had been for future reference

Biography: DX 11/2000 LCIS,DCIS,IDC 2B, Grade 1, ER+,PR+ Her2Neg 1 pos node Lumptectomy, CMF chemo X 6 mos, DX 8/2001, IDC same breast--Mastectomy , Left Breast Lumpectomy... Tamoxifen, one year...Armidex, Four years
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Dec 19, 2009 07:29AM Laurie09 wrote:

My guess is, as the previous posters have said, it's likely a marker to show where they removed the mass - it's pretty common for them to put them in for future reference.  Ask your Dr.s office to be sure.

Laurie Dx 2/20/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/12 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/12/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 8/28/2009 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 10/5/2009 Hormonal Therapy 11/5/2009
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Dec 19, 2009 01:07PM NativeMainer wrote:

It's also possible that the clip is sealing off a small blood vessel that was cut during mast/reconstruction.  Most blood vessels can be cauterized to stop them from bleeding, but occasinally one is a little bit bigger and cautery isn't enough, so the surgeon puts a clip on it. 

I think the best thing you can do for yours peace of mind is to get a copy of the operative report--the detailed report the surgeon dictates right after surgery.  There will be a lot of technical jargon in the report, but if a clip was placed and left the report should say so and why. 

It's really not unusual for clips to be used and left in place during surgery.  The important thing to find out is if the clip is metal--if it is you need to avoid MRI scans. 

dx 3/07, Stage 2, Grade 2 IDC, 2.8cm, ER+PR+, Her2(-), SN-, lumpectomy & rads, mastectomy 8/15/08, right prophy mast and bilateral DIEP recon 6/21/10 Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/15/2007 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/29/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/10/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/5/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/25/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/15/2008 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/21/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Dec 19, 2009 01:53PM SoCalLisa wrote:

I have told the tech when I have MRIs that I have a surgical clip and

they told me it OK...best to say something though

Biography: DX 11/2000 LCIS,DCIS,IDC 2B, Grade 1, ER+,PR+ Her2Neg 1 pos node Lumptectomy, CMF chemo X 6 mos, DX 8/2001, IDC same breast--Mastectomy , Left Breast Lumpectomy... Tamoxifen, one year...Armidex, Four years
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Dec 21, 2009 09:13AM cheza wrote:

Hello to you all, and thanks so much for your replies.    the first time i was aware of  something inside, was when i had to have a medical for a visa, i had my surgery in a different country than the one i live in.  I had an x-ray which was part of the stuff i had to do to stay in that country for more than six months.  It was when they sent me the results saying something abnormal was seen, that i sent the x-ray to my surgeon, he said that he could see nothing wrong with it. On the report it did not specifi what was seen, only that it was abnormal. I gave my surgeon the name and tel numbers of the department that had carried out the x-ray for him to try and find out what they meant. I was not allowed to ask them. That was statted on the letter they sent to me. I also gave it to my oncologist, he said he didnt know what they meant.  It is only since i have changed my oncologist and have had another x-ray after three years, and that this report has stated. that it is a surgical clip.  I do feel a bit frustrated, that neither my surgeon or the oncologist at the time could see what was shown on the original x-ray. I have all my medical records and none of them mention a clip being there for any reason. I am not sure what to do now.  I do have to see my oncologist in march, i will mention it to him then, and see if he can tell me why it is there. After reading your replies i do feel a lot better knowing that clips are left inside, i just wish someone had explained it to me years ago.

Once again thank you all

Cheza 

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Jan 27, 2010 09:19AM smart23 wrote:

I just read this post and I am in somewhat of the same situation now.  I had a bilateral mastectomy July 07...ever since then to present I have had extreme pain under my arm where my lymph nodes were removed.  My surgeion, onocologist have said that I have Post Mastectomy Pain  syndrome and I have been on  Percocet (and tried multiple pain mgmnt treatments) since July 07.  I just recently had to have an exray of my chest/abdomen area and the image under my arm shows around 20plus surgical clips that were left in and the line is where my pain has been just terrible over these years. No one ever told me clips were left in  that area and added to that when I had radiation I had 2nd/3rd degree burns there.  I have an appointment with my surgeon next week to see what he has to say. 

I read that they my mark where the tumor is...I had 13 lymph nodes removed...he would have had to leave two clips for each lymph node...could that be possible?

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Jan 27, 2010 10:58AM redsox wrote:

I have one clip from the core needle biopsy to mark where they sampled and multiple clips from the lumpectomy to mark the cavity.  They use the clips for future diagnostic imaging and planning of radiation therapy.  If you have a mastectomy the clips may or may not be removed with the mastectomy.  The material in these clips should be safe for MRI. 

Most recent surgical clips or implants used for other purposes, such as to stop bleeding, should be safe as well but you should ask.  Metal clips or implants used long ago are not likely to be compatible with MRI.  Diagnostic radiologists should have reference materials to track specific types of metal and its compatibility with MRI.  The best approach on surgical clips or implants is to ask the surgeon if it is compatible with MRI and/or ask for very specific information on the type of metal.  With that info ask the radiologist if the metal is compatible. 

Typically someone reviewing a checklist before an MRI should ask if you have any metal in your body, but that's often right before the MRI -- not good if you do not have the info!

Dx 2009, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 22, 2010 12:35AM , edited Mar 22, 2010 12:37AM by virgodream

I have had three mamograms since my masectomy, and only this last one reported a surgical clip in breast.  I was confused, knowing surgical markers (from previous lumpectomy) were removed with breast tissue during masectomy, which removed all tissue down to chest wall.  Finding this blog has been illuminating, to say the least!!  I will get these recent films and take to my reconstructive surgeon.  I have only recently regained feeling under my arm, as extensive work done here to attach free tram/vein and artery.  I am now experiencing a nagging sort of pain and soreness, perhaps caused by this surgical clip??  Bra irritates also.  Nothing showed in previous mamograms.  Why?? 

virgodream
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Mar 22, 2010 03:28PM rose847 wrote:

There is another more recent post about this. Enter "20 plus surgical clips" into keyword under search of discussion boards.

Rose Dx 8/12/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 22, 2010 03:34PM LRM216 wrote:

I have a lot more than 1 metal clip left in my breast after each of the lumpectomy and re-excision I had.  Only found it out at my first post-lump mammo and about died when I saw it!  Radiologist reading the xray said it's done all the time - and is no problem.  At first I though I had a MAJOR lawsuit, lol!!!

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to end, it's about learning to dance in the rain ... Age 62 at diagnose Dx 2/23/2009, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/7/2009 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/25/2009 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/21/2009 Breast