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Suspicious of titanium chip
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Suspicious of titanium chip

In Jan. I had a needle breast biopsy and a titanium chip inserted.  I got an infection a couple of months later, apparently from the pooled blood in my breast, and had to take anti-biotics to get it resolved.  For the last month, I have had an infected lymph gland on my neck just under my left ear (biopsy was on left breast).  I'm on my third course of antibotics and can't seem to shake it.  My dr. said that it is usually a secondary infection to something like a cold or sore throat, but I haven't had anything wrong that I'm aware of.  I keep thinking that the titanium chip is causing problems.  Every once in a while I get shooting pain in my left breast.  I deeply regret having the biopsy and getting the chip.  Has anyone had this problem?
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18 Comments
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25201_tn?1255584436
Didn't the biopsy prove that you did not have cancer?? i certainly wouldn't regret knowing that. I suppose you could have the chip removed if you insisted (if your surgeon agreed that this might be the problem). The fact that it's titanium shouldn't be a problem...I have several titanium parts attached to my spine and have had no problem with them and they have been there for 4 years.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the titanium chips from the biopsy, and haven't experienced any pain from them, and know that titanium is used all the time for hip replacements, knee replacements, etc. What is causing the infection,and is there a cancer, that's the question to find out.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a titanium chip implant in June 2007.  Mine, too, took a long time to heal and has caused considerable pain since, sufficient to worry me as to why.  The procedure took a lot longer than it should have and the lidocaine wore off during the procedure and I also lost a lot of blood (I actually saw a pool of it when I should not have) - and all this was at what was supposed to be a top-flight institution.  I realize that the chip is to make things easier to identify, and as an earlier needle biopsy hit a nerve, I thought it would be an improvement.  I am not sure.
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Avatar_n_tn
Can these chips cause problems if you have to have a MRI at some point?
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652167_tn?1224113353
No Titanium isn't affected when you have an MRI. My ex had a titanium heart valve and he had no problems with the MRI.
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652167_tn?1224113353
In October 2007 they did a needle biopsy on a benign cyst in my left breast and it's still sore a year later. They said they would take one sample and they took 6 and then announced they were inserting the Titanium chip. I was stunned I never spoke up and have felt uncomfortable with it ever since. My question is why is this implant necessary when the mammogram measures the size and the location of that particular area along with the ultra sound they always do. I'm wondering since this is relatively new procedure if I am not part of some study that they are conducting. My biopsy results concluded that it was scar tissue that they saw. I'm seriously thinking of having mine removed. I feel women should be asked ahead of time whether or not they want this inside their breast tissue.. I've had no infections but if I were you, I'd have it removed since everyone knows that every body is different and also reacts to foreign bodies differently.
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Avatar_f_tn
Titanium is used for medical purposes because it is virtually nonreactive. I think platinum is the only thing less reactive, and not by much. That said, there are probably a very small number of people who react to titanium.
The clip is used because biopsies cause scar tissue, and scar tissue can look abnormal on a mammogram. The clip identifies the architectural distortion as biopsy-site scar tissue. Useful for future mammograms. Removing the clip would involve another invasive procedure and leave more scar tissue, as well as exposing you to another possible infection.
It is unlikely that a lymph node problem near your jaw is related to the biopsy site. A sore lymph node in your neck is more likely to be related to an infection in your head (ear, nose, throat, teeth, etc), whereas a sore lymph node under your arm or below your clavicle is more likely to be related to the breast. Has to do with different parts of the lymph system serving specific parts of the body.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just had this procedure yesterday and am already wishing I had asked more questions about the titanium chip.  Nowhere on the pre-procedure checklist did they mention the chip.  They only mentioned it right before I was to have the biopsy.  I asked a couple of questions and let them do it.  The explanation given to me was that it would identify the area of the biopsy if I were to ever move out of the area and had another mammogram done... ???  

Ulrike... I, too, wondered if I am part of some kind of study!

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652167_tn?1224113353
I have to go in next month for them to check another benign cyst I have in my right breast to see if it's changed at all in 3 months. I'm going to ask some more questions.
My left breast pain has gone away, maybe it took my body longer to settle down from having the chip inserted.I did ask in October if they could show me the chip on the ultrasound and I was told that you needed a microscope to see it. I was told that when they inserted it they had to put it in some sort of dissolving gel to even get it in there. I do think they should tell women all that so that you have a better medical understanding of why and how they are doing it. At this point in my life, I've had a few medical issues and have always felt more empowered with additional knowledge which alleviates my stress factor.
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Avatar_n_tn
In December 2008, I had a biopsy done and they put in a Titanium chip - it hurt and hurt severely for 4-5 days and it still hurts.  I also think it is on a nerve.  I hate it.  It is causing me a lot of pain.  Now I don't trust them to do anything else.  If it is worse than this, I won't be able to stand it.
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Avatar_n_tn
In December 2008, I had a biopsy done and they put in a Titanium chip - it hurt and hurt severely for 4-5 days and it still hurts.  I also think it is on a nerve.  I hate it.  It is causing me a lot of pain.  Now I don't trust them to do anything else.  If it is worse than this, I won't be able to stand it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Titanium is a nonreactive material used in all sorts of surgical medical procedures without ill effects. When I had one inserted after a stereotactic core needle biopsy, I was startled to have pain coming from the site and like many of you started to wonder if my body was reacting to the clip material. My clip could be seen on follow-up mammogram X-ray without using a microscope.

However, due to suspicious biopsy findings and the need to have an excisional biopsy, it turns out that the reason for my pain was not the titanium clip at all -- the pain was actually coming from a deep hematoma that had formed at the time of the needle biopsy...time heals this.  

My surgeon would not have been able to accurately identify the suspicious area (there was no lump, only microcalcifications) that needed further excisional biopsy without the clip, so I am grateful after all that it was there as a marker to guide the wire for a successful surgery -- I'm not sure I would have trusted them to find the right spot without it!  
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Avatar_n_tn
I just had a core needle biopsy today. I read all the literature ahead of time as well, but I was never informed about the chip until the end of the procedure. The radiologist stopped to answer all my questions because I did NOT want to have it implanted. When I asked what happens to people who don't get the chip inserted, he answered, "Everyone does, so I don't know." He told me they had been in use for nine years without side effects.I let him go ahead with it. The ultrasound tech showed me s chip when the biopsy was finished. The sample chip was about half the size of a grain of rice.I had the procedure completed in Marin County, CA.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm about to have a biopsy on my left breast, and they told me that they would insert the titanium chip, too.  I don't want this inserted.  If I tell them "NO", will they not insert it?  My thoughts:  What if it breaks away?  Moves?  It's a foreign object -- how long have they been using this procedure?  And conclusive results are that this is medically necessary???  There are more gals who DON'T have this, than those that do.  Am I wrong to not wanting this?  My biopsy is in three days.  
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684030_tn?1357024374
I had the titanium chip inserted during my stereotactic biopsy in Dec. 2007... Prior to the procedure, I was shown an example of what it looked like. And, it was explained to me as to why it was deemed beneficial to have it. It has never bothered me; nor, do I regret having it. When one considers the purpose that it serves... the comfort in having it may outweigh the discomfort that it may cause.
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Avatar_f_tn
So sorry to hear you even needed a biopsy, however glad to hear it was negative.  Everyone's body reacts differently.  Although the majority may have no problems w/chip, there is always that small percentage who do.  I had bone surgery w/5" titanium plate & 6 screws.  They took plate out 2 yrs after because of where it was located it hurt & my bone was fully healed.  Well 5 yrs later I developed sudden painful bone tumor there.  They discovered that there were tiny metal fragments in the tumor & said they believe my body had reaction to them (bare in mind I also have auto-immune problem).  So who's to say that your body may be reacting/rejecting this foreign body/chip.  My concern is the ongoing infection & lump.  If the lump is truly from an (mystery) infection & you are being treated w/anti-biotics for this then it should gradually get smaller.  If not you should get it checked out further.  It has only been 3 months since the biopsy, so maybe things will settle down in time.  But if that lump & the breast pain don't head in the right direction, I'd be persistent about it.  Remember-this is YOUR body.  Also, as a side point I am really concerned about multiple anti-biotics you've been taking.  Please consider taking high-quality acidophilus to help you maintain your stomach's good bacteria.  I was given 3 rounds of anti-biotics & developed this horrific case of CDiff which landed me in the hospital & took months to recover from.  (Look up CDiff to see what I'm talking about.) That's the last thing you need right now on top of what you're already dealing with.  I really hope things turn around for you soon.  Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
Don't listen to these doctors or nurses, it all ****!  I had a biopsy over two years ago and STILL have PAIN in my breast. Shooting pains, it's very annoying and the doctors still deny that it has anything to do with the titanium clip.
It's it OBVIOUS folks, this many women having pain.
The best advice is to LISTEN to your inner voice, your intuition and don't permit anyone professional or not to invade what you know is right FOR YOU.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the same procedure done and stumbled across this site looking for a reason to explain why I feel pain in my chest near the area where the clip has been inserted.  My procedure also took longer than expected, hurt a lot more than they told me it would and I lost a lot of blood.  I was not able to see the blood but I know it took the nurse a good 15 minutes to clean up.  Also, when I stood up I felt very dizzy.  I am not very happy knowing I have the clip and seriously concerned if the pain I feel has something to do with it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I received a biopsy four years ago to my left breast and shortly after I had a reaction to the proceedure. My breast was hard with a lump the size of an egg & another lump in the axillary the size of a walnut.  The pain was minor but concerning.  I had none of these symptoms prior. I went back & it was thought that I had an infection (staph). I took the antibiotics & the swelling went down but not the achy pain, that's sharp when palpated. I've been back twice with the chief complaint of pain & my feeling is related to the foreign clip. The breast clinic did a mammogram & ultrasound to see nothing unusual. All at my exspence & to get the clip removed that I never agreed to have inserted I will have to have a general sergion remove it, again at my exspense. When started with this course & was counseled by surgion, he made me feel like I was hypochondriac and that clip is for my wellness.  So four years later my left breast still hurts & I've just learned to live with, however, happy to be cancer free.
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Branded like a cow was started.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was also "biopsied & chipped" recently (@Kaiser). Being someone in the "low risk" category (breast fed 3, healthy habits, no family history) tho' w/ a history of fibroids, I WAS shocked 12 samples were taken+ chipped. :/Course they found fibroids after this very aggressive procedure & the chip IS pointy/ uncomfortable. In retrospect, I shouldn't of fallen for the "what if..." fear tactics.  I should of asked to do a follow up mamo to gauge change. I HIGHLY suspect some some company making bucks off their Titanium $chips & the HMOs too from our higher insurance premiums. I'm suspicious of some "study" since there is little disclosure of the "entire procedure" until actually being sliced, suctioned & tagged. :/
  
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