Implanted with a needle

edited January 2015 in Magnets
In my other thread, I noted that I had problems with my scalpel-based implantation of three m31s (combination of genuine rejection and in at least one case, perhaps my own over-concern leading me to remove it when it might not have been necessary).

15 days ago, I implanted in my middle finger using a needle and about 30 minutes ago, used the same method to implant in the ulnar nerve section of my ring finger.  It worked so well the first time that I simply repeated the process for the second installation.

I used the needle of an RFID injector (and if someone could clarify, what is the diameter on the needle used in those injectors?  Is it a gauge 10 needle?)  Here's my procedure:
  • The entire hand was cleaned with chlorhexadine glucanate (scrubbed for two minutes) then rinsed with saline.
  • A hair rubberband was placed around the base of the finger as a tourniquet, after which I used my right hand to force all the blood out of the finger.
  • Injector from my xNTi kit was used to make the hole (it was sterilized with chlorhexadine as I'd used it previously to install the chip).  There'll be a picture at the end of this post with the needle in the finger to show the insertion point and path of the needle.  I will say that I found it to be pretty damned painful (I've had nightmares about it since I first did it, if that tells you anything).  This is a big needle to insert into a finger.
  • As this hole is a little smaller than the m31, popping the magnet into the hole requires a bit of force.  After it was through the entry point, I used the tine of a plastic fork to push the magnet to the very end of the needle hole (I'm inclined to refer to it as the "needle well" in my head for some reason).  The fork tine had been soaked in chorhexadine then rinsed in saline.
  • The site was wrapped in gauze and taped and the tourniquet removed.
  • The following day, I unwrapped the finger, cleaned it with saline, and rebandaged.  By this point, the finger was very bruised but almost without pain.  It had bled extensively inside the gauze overnight but it was no longer bleeding by the time I unwrapped it.  This second one I've done this way seems to be bleeding quite alot more, with blood soaking all the way through the gauze within the first minute or two.
  • Twice a day for the first week I rinsed the site with saline.  I made sure to keep it dry other than that (by the way, those little finger condom things you can buy are fantastic for use while showering).  By the third day I was using a basic band-aid rather than gauze.
  • The path that the needle took remains visible below the skin even 15 days out.  The bruising diminished rapidly over the course of the first week.  The site was healed shut inside the first week though it took 12 days for the scab to come off naturally.  There is some numbness directly over the site, though the affected area is getting smaller by the day and I expect all feeling to return with time.
  • EM sensitivity seems wonderful and quite honestly is a constant source of fascination and wonderment to me.
Regarding why I chose this particular path for the needle, it was for two reasons.  Firstly, natural walking movements keep the magnet at the bottom of the hole during healing.  Secondly, I've made it a habit to shake the hand periodically, which also helps force the magnet to stay at the bottom of the hole.

I've seen very little in the way of instructions for needle-based insertions so I hope someone finds this useful.  I've got one 99% healed magnet and one that was done just this evening using this technique and I can say that it worked very well for me.

Oh, almost forgot the picture.  This is my ring finger with the needle at full depth (sorry for the poor quality; its hard to take a picture and keep things sterile at the same time :P):



  • Really interested to follow the healing process for this! I've been planning on using the scalpel method for the past few weeks, but everything from illness to handstanding class kept forcing me to put it off. A bit glad for that, since I've been reading a number of posts about healing failures recently. If this ends up healing up smoother, I may just follow suit and try as well. With a side of lidocane, though. 

    Looking forward to a positive follow up! :) 
  • The healing process for the first one I did like this 16 days ago is detailed in the first post; it healed very well.  There's still some residual redness that marks the path of the needle, there's that small bit of numbness in the area, and something else I failed to mention above is that the tissue under the needle path seems, I don't know, firmer?  Not quite as pliable as before, but I imagine that's just scar tissue that'll reduce with time as well.  The entrance is entirely healed and there's only the tiniest of scars marking it, though considering how fingers heal, I think even that won't be there forever.  It was because of how well this went that I did the second one last night using the same technique.

    On the topic of the second one, it's been about 21 hours or so since I did it and it looks fantastic.  This morning I unwrapped it for the first time.  It had bled quite alot more than a scalpel insertion does and was actually still bleeding a little bit.  Most of the finger pad was very "pruned" after having been exposed to liquid (my blood) all night and looked very white.  The first magnet did the same and this goes away rapidly after changing out those initial bandages.  I cleaned it up with saline and rebandaged.  About eight hours ago I had a peek at it and it had stopped bleeding entirely.  I was at work so didn't have any saline with me to clean up what blood was there but I exposed it to air regardless for a few hours before coming home and using saline to clean it again.  Looking at it right now, I would describe the distal phalanx of the finger as swollen with mild bruising over most of the finger pad.  The path of the needle is more darkly bruised.  The wound looks closed, though I know it wouldn't take much to rip it open.  There's a very dark spot right below the little flap of skin that injector needles create which I suspect is clotted blood.  If that doesn't clear sufficiently in the next few weeks, I'll likely make a small incision and scrape that out of there because I'm weird like that, but by then the needle's path will be healed closed and it won't affect the magnet at all.  The finger did throb for a bit this morning so I took some ibuprofen, but there's no pain currently.  I've been shaking my hand alot today to keep that magnet at the end of the needle hole (and in case anyone wonders, shaking it around like that doesn't hurt at all).

    One thing I did not note above in my technique write-up is that after initial insertion of the needle, I twisted the needle 180 degrees so that the sharp point of it was on top versus how you'd normally insert it.  I did this both times because somehow it seemed like it helped keep the needle's path more true to what I wanted.  I should also note that the total penetration distance is right in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 millimeters (if one were to measure from insertion point to end point of the needle's path).  The reason I used so much distance was to make sure the magnet had a smaller chance of working its way to the entrance as it healed.

    Being brave and knowing of a sweet little EM field at work, I couldn't help myself and sampled it with the new magnet.  Sensitivity was excellent with no pain.  I really like that particular field...

    Personally, I'll be doing all my m31s this way.  Two more to go as of right now, though I'm looking for excuses to do even more (after fingertips, I'm tempted to try some in other areas of the fingers, you know, for science :P)  Easy to do and heals fast.  In two weeks, I'll likely do the third (index finger), then two weeks after that the fourth (pinkie).
  • Anyone else who decides to use this method, please be careful when putting the magnet into the needle. Thin coating vs sharpenedsteel tip can cause micro abrasions that may lead to coating failure. While I'm happy that it is working out, just remember, this is not how they were supposed to be handeled so be careful.
  • edited November 2014
    I would second what @glims said.  I did not put the magnet in the needle at all and I'd recommend the same to anyone else doing this.  Don't even let it ever touch the needle.  Just use the needle to make the hole and put the magnet in with your fingers and use something less abrasive to push it down into the hole (in my case, I used the sterilized tine of a plastic fork).

    EDIT - I think @glims mis-interpreted my description.  My fault for not being clearer.  I did not put the magnet in the injector at all.  I used the injector as a piercing needle to make a hole in my finger, withdrew the needle, placed the magnet in the hole in my finger, then used the plastic fork tine to push the magnet to the bottom of the hole in my finger.
  • Ah, I see now. Yeah, sorry for the misunderstanding.
  • Hey, no problem, @glims.  I should have been clearer.

    Might as well post a status update on the progress of the second magnet.  74 or so hours since I implanted it.  It looks very good.  The bruising is reducing far more quickly than the first one for whatever reason.  The site looks fully sealed but of course I'll be taking it very easy on it for a week or so still just in case.  The magnet seems to have migrated by less than a millimeter since implantation so I've got no problems there.  The finger is still swollen but not ridiculously so.  The needle path is more swollen than the rest of the phalanx.  Really, if it weren't for the small scab it the penetration point, casual observation wouldn't reveal anything out of the ordinary about the finger.  There is still that internal scab/clotted blood, but as I said in an earlier post, I'll address that after it's all healed up.

    I've been leaving it uncovered as much as possible.  Band-aids when my normal activity might bump or scrape it (but I'm being very careful with it anyway).  I'll do full gauze wraps for sleeping for a few days yet.  No exposure to water; saline only for the first week or so.  Still shaking it whenever I think of it to keep the magnet from migrating too far.

    EM sensitivity is terrific.  Better than the first one right now, but that's (I think) because the nerves are surely super sensitive right now due to the injury in the area.

    So overall, the progress is mostly mirroring the first implant, which is exactly what I hoped for.
  • edited December 2014
    Might as well give a progress update on the implants since I've got a moment.

    The one that was done about 3 weeks ago is basically entirely healed.  Very
    minor pinkish coloration to the skin above the needle path and the
    smallest bit of swelling (likely just scar tissue that'll recede with
    time).  No pain at all and EM sensitivity remains excellent.  The entry
    point of the needle is barely visible now.  Not a real scar even.  Just a
    small bump, really (and by small, I mean VERY small).

    The one from about a week ago is nearly fully healed now as well.  Three or so
    days I managed to bump it in such a way that the skin flap from the
    needle entry got pulled open a bit, but by this point the needle channel
    was closed anyway so it was no big deal.  In fact, it allowed me to
    clean out that bit of clotted blood that was making the dark spot I
    described before.  It reclosed entirely in a couple hours.  Two days ago
    I decided to remove the scab that was there just to see what would be
    going on under there.  It was basically smooth skin below.  At this
    moment, I'd venture to say the second one is for all intents and
    purposes healed.  No pain and good EM sensitivity.  EM sensitivity still
    seems slightly better than the first one.  Same deal with the small bit
    of swelling as the other one, but no big deal.  The second one has none
    of the associated pinkishness to the skin that the first one had.

    All in all, I'm declaring this method, at least for me, to be a complete
    success.  I really thought, prior to doing this, that scalpels were the
    way to go, but having tried both, I can say with great confidence that a
    pierced solution is better.  It makes sense, too.  The area of broken
    skin is far smaller using this method so it heals faster and the magnet
    rests much further from the entry point, making rejection far less

    In four days, I'm implanting the third this way.
  • Any chance you could video your next needle style implant, Doesn't really need to be voiced over, I'd just like to see it happen clearly.
  • Ooooh, excellent! This is super reassuring to read, and now I'm straight up pumped to follow along! Did we ever get sizing on the needle you used? I found a 100 piece set with sizes from 12 to 20, so I might need to work the 12 to really open up the space I need.

    I'll be doing a video when I do it, but it would be rad to see a video of yours too! Especially since I'm working off of your description and my mental images of it. Having a visual guide is always handy and nifty!
  • I'll see what I can do to record it.  If I do it, I'll narrate as I go so as to explain what's happening.  It's hard to do because it's just me and I only have a phone to record (it does record HD video, though).  I'll have to see if I can devise some sort of stand to hold the the phone while I do it.

    As for the needle size, I do not yet know exactly what size the RFID injector needles are.  According to Introduction to Implantable Transponders for Professionals over at DangerousThings, RFID tags, which are 2mm in diameter, "can be easily installed using a hollow 10G or 11G piercing needle and taper to push the tag through".  Obviously, the magnet isn't going inside the needle, nor would it fit.  Since a 12G is only 2mm wide in total, and the chip is 2mm wide, there's no way it could fit inside a 12G needle, at least if I'm correct in that the measurement is of the needle as a whole and not the measurement on the hollow inside it.  It's a very safe bet, I think, that the injector needle is an 11 or 10.  Either way, it's still smaller than the magnet itself, but once you get the magnet past that outer layer of tissue, it's fairly easy to push it the rest of the way down the channel in your finger using whatever non-metallic object you deem fit (as I said, in my case, the tine of a plastic fork, but I should also point out that if a person has an injector to use, one could likely remove the plunger from the needle and use that as the taper).

    Since there's at least some interest, it seems, I'll take a moment here to elaborate a bit more on the process...

    One thing that was unexpected was just how durable the tissue in a finger is and how resistant it is to a needle of this size pushing through it.  I should have expected it given my prior experience with pocketing with a scalpel, but I guess I sort of blanked on it until I was mid-process on the first one.  The going is easy initially, but as you push further and further in, it gets harder and harder to push the needle.  The lack of fluid to lubricate the process due to the tourniquet likely contributes to this, and since you aren't coring the hole but rather pushing tissue aside, the flesh is gripping onto the needle as you go.  By the end, the going seems pretty tough.  It may, for me, be partly psychological as well.  Without any numbing agent, the pain gets pretty severe and that probably makes the process seem tougher than it really is.  If you use lidocaine or the like, you wouldn't have that.  I've also never liked needles.  I'm getting past that now that I've poked a good sized one into myself a few times, but it does contribute to the psychological aspect of it.

    Expanding further on the pain of the process, as I said, it hurts.  Consider that you're passing a very large needle a full centimeter or more through the most sensitive part of the body.  I will say that the last few millimeters the pain lets up a bit, though.  You're starting at the surface of the finger and going in sideways.  The pad of the finger bunches up in front of the needle and as you push in, even though you're pushing parallel to the bones of the finger, you're actually going further and further in from the surface because of that bunching.  You could compensate for that by angling the needle away from the bone and somewhat toward the surface, but I wanted an implant that was deep enough to prevent the overlying tissue from dying.  So anyway, what that all leads me to believe is that those last few millimeters get easier because the needle is now passing below many of the nerves in the fingerpad that it was prior passing amongst.  That, or maybe it has to do with severed nerve connections along the way and so there's simply less signal getting through by the time you get to the end.  Either way, my observation is that it hurts less at the very end.  If you're using lidocaine, you'll never feel the difference, of course.

    As to placement depth, as I said above, mine are deeper than I did when I tried scalpel insertion.  This is by choice because as I said, I could easily control the needle's path so as to produce a shallower placement.  I would say that both of the two I've done with the needle are about a millimeter below the surface of the finger, maybe a hair more.  That'll likely be less as scar tissue diminishes, but not much less.  Again, that was a choice and not a side effect of the method.  I can get a single paperclip to stick to them with some patience, but that's about it.  Remember that so long as you're still close to or in the nerve matrix of the pad, the EM sensitivity is not much affected by depth.  For my purposes, I find this placement to be excellent.  The overlying tissue is not negatively impacted by the magnet, there's a bit of tissue padding the magnet and so bumping them doesn't really hurt unless you hit it just right, and by offsetting slightly off to the side, you don't put pressure on them when carrying objects.  All in all, they're just right.  In my view, disc magnets are for EM sensing and cylinders are for party tricks (can't wait to get an m63 for that).  That having been said, I've got some 1/2" diameter nickel-plated NIB disc magnets that are SUPER fun to play with now that I've got these m31s in.

    One other thing I'll mention is that after getting the magnet into its final position, I took a second to get the skin flap that the needle makes to lay as close to its original position as I could before bandaging.  The process of pushing the magnet in caused it to fold up into the hole in both cases, which is not ideal.  Take a second and get it back flat.  The very edges of the flap did ultimately die, but it's just the tiniest bit of skin and it grows back very rapidly.

    For anyone reading this who hasn't had any implants yet, I would tell you that if you're worried that they'll feel in some way unnatural or "alien" once you've got them, don't worry.  They're part of you once they're in.  You put them there (or had someone else do it).  I can feel them there if I press directly on them, but they just sort of "belong", you know?  I've got an xNT and two magnets in the hand right now.  If anything, the hand feels better.  More equipped if that makes sense.

    Oh, and while typing this I got a message saying my biotherm chip has shipped.  Nice :).  Thinking it'll go into the ventral side of the left forearm.  Awesome.

    Couple days from now I'll implant m31 #3 in my index finger (I'd been debating whether to do the index or pinkie next, but I think somehow it'll be easier to record the index).

    Ugh.  Long post.  Sorry about that.
  • I use these constantly for taking pictures.
    There are cheaper versions on eBay and they work fine. The phone adapter at the top can be mounted on any standard tripod if you want something free standing.
  • edited December 2014

    I want you guys (using "guys" as a unisex term here) to know I really did want to film this next magnet, but in trying to get it all set up, I came to the conclusion that I just wasn't going to be happy with the results based on test footage I took in the area I planned to work.  I'll do my very best to get the fourth one filmed in two weeks when I do it.  I did get a few pictures during it, though, so I'll get those posted at some point on Sunday.  Thanks, @McSTUFF, for the link.  I'll get one ordered and try to record the fourth implant.

    Did the index finger tonight.  A few observations for this one are:
    • Pushing the needle didn't really get physically much harder as I went deeper.  I'm thinking it's just a psychological thing for me.  The pain just makes me instinctually have a hard time pushing it in after a certain point.  It really does hurt a bunch.
    • This time the finger pad didn't bunch up as quickly in front of the path of the needle and because of that, it (the needle) stayed closer to the surface for longer.  That having been said, I'm thinking this one might be deeper below the surface in the end.  It's hard to say at this moment as it's still bandaged.
    • Because of that longer area that wasn't as deep, it was harder to get the magnet all the way down to the far end of the hole.  It took alot of force with the fork tine to drive the magnet into the finger, at least until it cleared that outermost layer of skin and got into the underlying tissue.  The surface skin is very durable and doesn't stretch as easily as what's deeper.
    • The bleeding seems the worst so far compared to the other two, which is part of the reason I think that it ended up deeper in.  There are alot of blood vessels in there.  No concern over the blood loss, of course (it's not THAT bad).  I took a picture less than a minute after I bandaged and the blood had already spread quite alot into the gauze (look for that pic tomorrow).  One thing to note is that in areas where you don't have tape covering the gauze, the bleeding is bad enough to soak all the way through and begin running down the finger.  I kind of knew this before I bandaged and had wrapped the gauze almost entirely in tape but there was a small triangle that was uncovered by tape and, well, it got messy quick.
    • I flipped the needle over sooner because I was worried that it was too close to the surface at the beginning and I was concerned the tissue would begin tearing.  The flipping of the needle is the part I'm most concerned people might not understand.  Imagine looking down the length of the needle with your eye looking at the plunger cap.  Now imagine rotating the needle 180 degrees while still looking down the length of the needle.  God, that still isn't clear, is it?  Damn...  Hell, it isn't even actually necessary, but I find it helps.  This really does require video to explain properly.
    • At this moment, just over an hour since I bandaged, the finger has a dull ache but nothing unbearable.  I don't really notice it unless I purposefully try to.
    • I've been shaking the hand alot to keep the magnet near the end of the hole. I imagine congealed blood has by this point already helped to ensure it stays near the end but I figure some inertia will help, too.  Because of the position I start the needle in and the path I push it through, holding my arms in a natural position while walking promotes this same effect.  That's why I do it like this.
    *** BEGIN EDIT ***
    Out of curiosity, I decided to unwrap the bandages after about three hours and have a look.  I've waited 8-10 hours on the others and was curious as to what I'd see.  The finger looks really good.  I cleaned off the blood with saline, snapped a few pics (they'll be up tomorrow, too), and rebandaged.  The skin's wrinkled like after you've been swimming for awhile (in this case, swimming in blood), but not too badly, quite unlike the other two that I left in the initial bandages until morning.  Poking at the finger was somewhat painful with even light pressure.  I used another NIB magnet (from a fair distance) to get a feeling as to where the magnet is currently sitting in the finger.  Like I said, seems a hair deeper (though there is some swelling so it's hard to say for sure).  It seems to be resting all the way at the far end of the needle hole as I want it to.  Still going to keep shaking it and will sleep with the fingers hanging down to promote its continuing to stay there.

    The bleeding must have stopped pretty quickly this time because though there's a fair bit of blood on the used bandages, it never ended up spreading all through the gauze.  My ring finger one ended up turning the entire gauze red before it was done.  I even took a pic of the gauze and will post that tomorrow.

    Because I rotated the needle so quickly after initially breaking the skin, the normally characteristic triangle flap of skin that an injector leaves isn't really there.  It's more of a straight line.  Interesting.
    *** END EDIT ***

    Quick update of the other two.

    It's been four weeks now since I did the first one this way.  Middle finger.  The pinkishness of the needle path has almost entirely disappeared.  There's still a tiny bit of numbness in the tissue there, but I wouldn't even be aware of that if I wasn't actively looking for numbness.  No pain.  EM sensitivity seems to be getting better, too, and I had no complaints before.  Very happy.

    About two weeks since the second implant.  Ring finger.  It is in nearly the same state as the index.  EM sensitivity dipped a tiny bit, but maybe I'm just comparing it with the improvement I've seen in the middle finger and feel like it dipped when it actually didn't.  Either way, it's still good.  No pain.  Looks and feels great.  No scab remains at all.  Tiny scar.

    That about sums it up.  In two weeks, I'll do the fourth (pinkie finger).  Two weeks has been a good interval so far so I'll stick with that.  So December 20th.  I will do my very very best to get video.  Look for a few pics from implant 3 tomorrow.  I'm glad that at least a few people seem to be finding this thread useful/interesting.

    Goodnight and happy grinding.

    P.S. - I've developed a bit of a personal ritual after I finish an implant.  I sit down, close my eyes, listen to the song "Bullets" by Archive (the song from the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer), and reflect on what I'm accomplishing here.  It puts me in a peculiar and awesome mood.  Anyone else got any post-implant rituals?  I'd love to hear about them if you do.

  • edited December 2014
    Here are those pics I promised.

    This is the fork tine, m31, and RFID injector prior to implantation.  Note that the magnet is physically larger than the bore of the needle and cannot be inserted into it:
    Tools of the Trade photo 20141206_232306_zps337b1dfa.jpg

    This is the needle after initial perforation of the skin:

    This is the needle after it has been rotated (hoping the pic helps explain that part better):

    This is the needle at nearly full depth:

    This is the bandaged finger after the implantation has been done.  This was taken less than a minute after removing the tourniquet:

    This is the finger about three hours after implantation:

    This is the inside of the bandage that was removed from the finger after about 3 hours:

    This is the finger after about 21 hours:

    Currently, the finger is a little sore and definitely has a numb area that extends the full length of the needle path.

  • How would you rate the pain? I am planning on using this method in the exact way that you did. Any tips?
  • edited December 2014
    Ah, pain.  I'm hesitant to rate it on a scale because those are so subjective.  All I can say is that it hurts alot.  Read my earlier posts in this thread for details.  I will say that this most recent one actually hurt less to do than the others for whatever reason, but hurts more during healing.  I do not know why.

    My main tip would be (and this probably isn't what you would want to hear) not to do this yourself.  It seems easy (and for me, it really is) but there are still risks.  Nerve damage is the one that worries me the most.  Depending on what you end up severing as the needle goes in, you could potentially end up with permanent loss of feeling in an area.  Not cool at all.  The other big concern in my view is still the risk of infection.  This method heals very quickly to the outside world, but you could potentially introduce any number of bacteria and the like into the tissue.

    That having been said, I assume you've researched risks and whatnot and intend to forge ahead.  So, other than what I've said in this thread already, here are a few tips that I'd suggest:
    • Pre-medicate with ibuprofen.  I take 800mg 30-45 minutes before I do one of these.  It will help with swelling.
    • Be absolutely sure you're working with clean equipment and in a clean area.  If you've got access to an autoclave, so much the better (but do NOT autoclave the magnet; it will reduce its strength considerably).  I've been using chlorhexidine.  Soak your tools and magnet in it.  I do mine for an hour.  I then rinse the items off with saline.  Tap water is your enemy here.  Do not expose your equipment to it.  Likely nothing would happen if you did, but tap water is not sterile.
    • Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands before doing it.  In my case, I wash mine with chlorhexidine glucanate for 2 minutes or so and then rinse them off with saline.  Again, I worry about tap water and just don't use any in my process.  I actually haven't been wearing gloves at all for these needle insertions.  I'm sure many here would chide me for it, but my hands are likely as clean as my tools, so I don't see any harm in not wearing them.
    • Work carefully.  Don't just jab the needle in.  Use a steady hand and carefully guide the needle to where you want it.  It's not a race, so go slow and with precision.  You can tilt the needle tip upwards a bit to see exactly where to point is, but something that works even better in a tourniquetted finger is a bright light behind the finger.  After tourniquetting, I take a moment to massage all the blood I can out of the finger and back past the tourniquet.  Besides helping to keep your insertion site free of blood which would obscure your view, it also leaves the finger very translucent to bright light.  If you hold the finger up to the light while the needle is in it, you can very clearly see where the needle is.
    • Keep the needle (and implant) off to the side and not directly in the center.  Placing pressure directly over an implant causes some pain (nothing too severe, but it does hurt) even after it is fully healed.  Honestly, my index finger implant is a little closer to the center of the finger pad than I really should have placed it, but it'll be okay, I think.  Do everyday activities and note which areas of the finger pad receive the least contact with anything during normal use.  For me, that's offset slightly toward the pinky side of the finger pad.
    • Take it easy one the finger for awhile after.  I'm something like 72 hours out from doing my index finger implant and it looks very solidly closed to the outside world, but other than tasks like typing, I will be sure to avoid doing anything else at all with it for a good week or so still.
    • Don't insert the needle too close to the joint.  Because the tissue flexes alot there, it'll make it harder to heal.  Also, because the tissue is thinner there, you could risk grazing the bone.
    • Oh, and one other VERY IMPORTANT NOTE.  Make sure you've got the needle far enough in before you implant the magnet.  Unlike with a pocketed incision, you can't remove the magnet easily after it's in.  If you insert the magnet and shove it down into the needle hole and you decide it isn't in far enough, you're going to play hell trying to get it back out of there to make the hole deeper.
    That's all I've got in the way of tips.

    Quick status update on the index finger implant after 72 hours.  It hurts more than the others did, but only if I apply pressure to it.  And even then, it isn't severe.  More of a dull pain.  It is also itching some, but again, nothing severe.  The site looks very good.  The distal phalanx of the finger is somewhat swollen, but little in the way of discoloration with the exception of the needle path.  The needle entry point looks completely closed.  The needle path has a deep red color (not the "Oh, dear god it has an infection" type of color, more the "there's damage here but it's healing" type of red).  EM sensitivity seems exceptional right now.  The numbness is fading, but definitely is still easily observable.  All in all, I'd say it's healing quite nicely.  Very much on track for the planned Dec. 20th implantation of the fourth magnet.
  • Thank you for the tips. I actually am having a family member assist me in this as she knows quite a bit about where the nerves and blood vessels are lined up in the hand. About how far under the skin would you say is optimal for the magnet? I have a parylene coated n52 neodymium magnet which is 3mm by 1mm.
  • Please bear in mind I would not consider myself an expert so take anything I'm saying here as amateur with some limited personal experience.

    As to depth, I'll quote @cassox from his blog:  "The depth of the cut needed is completely dependent upon the skin of the person. It will most likely be between ½ mm and 1mm."  If you haven't read that blog, definitely give it a read.  @cassox knows what he's talking about.  He does scalpel implantations, but much of the information will carry over to needle implantations.

    You'll note that my method runs a needle through areas @cassox recommends against cutting.  The three I've done are all a bit more than a millimeter below the surface (my failed scalpel implantations made me want to go deeper).  I am certain I've been getting into tissues that probably shouldn't be jabbed and poked.  I've had no ill effects that have lasted, but do be careful.

    Might as well update the status of my implants...

    Middle finger (done more than a month ago) is 100% healed.  As scar tissue has reduced, the scar from the needle insertion has become more obvious for whatever reason.  Still very minor, but you can see it if you look.  I noticed today that when my fingers get cold, the needle path seems to become visible again as a pink line.  I do not know the how or why.  No pain, no numbness.  EM sensitivity is awesome.

    Ring finger (done three and a half weeks ago) is nearly the same as the middle finger.  The scar on it is less noticeable than the middle.  There is still some stiffness to the overlying tissue that extends from the insertion point to the endpoint, but that's reducing more everyday (the middle finger no longer exhibits that trait at all).  All numbness is gone from the finger.  No pain.  Again, EM sensitivity seems awesome.

    Index finger (done a little over four days ago) is doing well.  Swelling has nearly gone away entirely.  Numbness is still noticeable but reducing.  Pain is non-existent unless I purposely apply pressure to the magnet, and even that is minor.  Some minor itching still (I did not have that with the other two) but even that seems less than before.  There was a small flap of dry, dead skin at the very entrance point that I tried to cut away with a scalpel earlier today.  In doing so, I managed to end up ripping a small area maybe 2mm x 2mm (and about 1/4 mm thick) of skin completely off from that spot.  The underlying tissue looks very good and I'm not at all concerned.  The wound is entirely healed shut so there is no path from the surface to the magnet itself.  EM sensitivity is, again, awesome.

    I'd like to take a moment to describe what it's like to have multiple implants in one hand for anyone who might be interested.  I almost wish I'd had a single for a longer period so I could better describe the difference.  Anyway, running my fingers across a field is definitely cool.  When you hit a dip in the field and continue across, each finger in turn hits the dip.  It leads to a much better sense of the overall shape of the field.  If I spread the fingers out a bit, on small fields I can sort of cup the shape of it.  It makes it much more "real" in a sense because you can feel a larger part of the shape all at once.  Having the fourth one implanted will make it even better.

    Another interesting thing is that if I line the fingertips up in such a way as to put the magnets as close to each other as possible, I swear I can feel the faintest bit of attraction between the fingertips.  It's so subtle that I'm not entirely sure it's real.  I keep looking at my fingers and thinking to myself that a magnet in the middle phalanx would be further away from the one in the distal phalanx than that so they wouldn't interfere.  I know sensitivity is going to be lower in the middle phalanx but I'm yearning to try an implant in there, too.  I keep having visions of having two per finger now.  Maybe, maybe...  Wishing I'd purchased more than four during the "beta" discount phase.
  • Moments ago I did the pinkie finger implant.  I did not record it.  Sorry.  It just wasn't in the cards tonight.  There were complications in the process and I'm in some pain right now.  Having trouble typing as I cannot use the pinkie at all to type, more because of the bandage restricting the finger from bending than pain, but I'd bet that it would hurt if I typed with it.

    In the interests of sharing information and experience, here's how it went while it's still very fresh in my mind.

    I followed my usual process.  After I had the needle in about two or three millimeters, the skin split exposing the entire needle again.  Ugh.  I'd had a fear of that happening before because the skin around the needle is always very taught right near the entry point, but I think because the finger is much smaller relative to the needle compared to the other fingers, there just wasn't enough tissue to stretch and it ripped.

    This, of course, meant that I was now essentially reducing the length of the needle path by 2-3 mm.  This one was already going to be a bit shorter by virtue of the finger being smaller, but to help compensate, I ended up driving the needle further toward the tip of the finger than I have in the past, so in the end I still had about 8mm of penetration.

    After the skin split, I tried bunching the finger pad up from the side with my left hand thumb to ensure I drove deeper more quickly.  This resulted in my going in at an angle that I wasn't even aware of until I let off it with my thumb as I was nearing the full depth I was after.  This would have placed the magnet too close to the center of the finger, so I backed the needle almost all the way out, adjusted the angle, and pierced in again.  The pain I was in at this point was really making me wish I had another person with me if for no other reason than moral support.  Seriously, though, you should always have a spotter with you when you do this stuff.  The reasons why are innumerable.

    I angled the needle point up to visually identify that I was deep enough and at the right location.  Then I withdrew the needle.  By this point, I was feeling a little nauseous and was now sweating.  Not the smooth implantation I was hoping for, to be sure.

    Because of the way the skin had split, there was a flap of skin that was completely obscuring the needle hole, making getting the magnet into it a huge bitch.  This led me to identify two mistakes I'd made.  Firstly, I did not prep extra tools like I had in the past, being apparently overconfident that I'd be able to get this done in the same fashion as the previous three.  I desperately wanted something right there to cut away some of that flap of skin because I was having an impossible time getting it started into the hole.  So I should have had a scalpel ready to go.  The second mistake is that I did not have that spotter who could have gotten one for me without me needling to risk handling cupboard doors or unwrapping the scalpel.  I instead had to make due using the needle to hook into the flap and ripping it back further to better expose the hole.

    Even once the skin was out of the way, I still had a horrendous time getting the magnet to go in, the entire time knowing that I actually had two needle holes in there and I needed to get it to go down the one that was at the correct angle.  I had to exert a huge amount of pressure on the magnet with my right thumb before it popped in.  By huge, I mean Herculean effort, which on a pierced finger was excruciating.  And once I had it in, I had to use the fork tine to convince it to go down the correct path.  Thankfully, I managed that pretty easily.  I tried shining a light through the finger to visually verify that the magnet was where I wanted it, but I couldn't see shit this time.  So I grabbed a little stack of neodymium discs I've got here and held them to the finger tip and used them to yank the magnet all the way to the end of the needle path just to be sure.  That hurt badly, but it did make me sure it was where I needed it to be.  After that I patted the skin down as smoothly as I could and started bandaging.

    Probably because I was frustrated, I managed to fold the tape for the bandage over on itself more than once, leading to even more frustration.  I finally managed to get it bandaged and removed the tourniquet.  The usual wet feeling and blood becoming visible under the bandage followed.

    As I typed all this, the pain has receded quite alot.  There's a very dull ache in it with one tiny spot near the tip of the finger that has a sharper pain.  The finger feels mildly warm.  That, I think, has mostly to do with the fact that the bandage is covering almost the entire length of the finger.

    So the lessons I've learned today that I'd like to share are (in no particular order):
    • Have a spotter.  You might need them.
    • Have extra tools on hand.  Just because you didn't need them last time doesn't mean you won't need them now.
    • Don't get frustrated.  Stay calm and relaxed.  I already knew this but kind of lost sight of it this time.
    • Pre-cut extra tape (this goes along with having extra tools).  Tape can apparently be tricky to use one-handed sometimes and you might ruin some.
    • Make sure your environment isn't too warm.  Sweating makes it harder to stay focused.
    • It's probably better to avoid needle implantations in the pinkie finger.  The needle is too big for a finger so small.
    • Oh, and even if it hurts like fuck, the pain goes away pretty quickly once you stop poking, cutting, and exerting pressure on the site :)

    You may have noticed that I did this a week later than I'd announced in an earlier post.  That's because I did a biotherm chip implant last weekend instead (see the post about that here if you're interested).

    I'll post back with updates on healing and perhaps with news of another magnet implanted into the middle phalanx of a finger (more likely than not, I'll be trying it just to sate my own curiosity).

  • I have an interesting development in the progress of the healing of the pinkie finger implant.  Besides the fact that it ultimately bled FAR less than the others, it never bruised at all.  But here's the interesting part...

    The EM sensitivity is orders of magnitude higher than the other three.  Fields that I could feel from a few inches away with the other fingers I can feel from several FEET away.  I can feel fields that were totally undetectable with the other three magnets.  If I get into a location with multiple field sources, it can be hard to narrow down exactly where a source is as I get closer, but then I can use the prior three implants to nail down individual sources.

    It's completely amazing.  It has to be just a lucky placement, maybe?  The magnet isn't any stronger as near as I can tell by trying to pick up items with it (I shouldn't be doing that yet, I know, but I want to understand this).

    Anyone have any thoughts on what's going on here?
  • It's possible that you placed your pinky implant closer to the bone. The
    periostium covering the bone is a very sensitive tissue with a lot of
    nerve endings (that's why breaking bones hurts that bad, bones
    themselves barely have any nerve endings), and thus increasing your

    As for scars, there are some scars and/or
    stretchmarks creams on the market that help to make scar smaller and
    softer (could be important in case of a long needle canal where a long,
    hard subcutaneous scar could be irritating).
    Proper wound healing
    and scar forming takes 6 months (in some cases even up to 9), so it may
    soften by itself during that time too.
    Any leftover clots forming
    darker spots under the skin should dissipate on their own in a week or
    two, even though slight yellowish discoloration may take a few weeks to
    vanish, so there's no need to remove them unless you have a CDO like

    How's your healing process going? How is the multiimplant feeling developing (I was always curious about that)?
  • If the one in the pinkie is closer to the bone, you are getting into muscle tissue. This is a serious no no. The magnet is supposed to be in the subcutaneous layer, between skin and muscle. implanting things in muscle is a quick road to rejection or possible other issues.
  • Actually in fingers, where there is very little actual muscles (the main muscle mass moving the hand is in the forearm), one could quite easily, even accidentally implant in between the muscles. While implanting into the muscle would easily lead to bleeding leading to problems, implanting between them shouldn't create much problem.
  • edited January 2015
    Well, here's an update to all the implants.

    The middle finger has no visible scarring at all now.  The hardness in the tissue has entirely disappeared.  You could not look at the finger and know anything was done to it.  There is an area that has a slightly odd sensation, not really numbness, just different somehow?

    The ring finger is in a very similar state.  A very tiny scar where the needle entered the flesh, but if I didn't know what it was, I don't think I'd even notice it.  There is still some hardness in the tissue, but it gets less and less with time.  Same sort of odd sensation in the tissue overlaying the needle path.  Not a bad feeling, but somewhat odd.

    The index finger is fantastic.  A small scar that's getting smaller all the time.  No hardness in the tissue.  No weird sensations.  The magnet, as mentioned above, was a little closer to the center of the finger than I wanted, and if anything, it has shifted even closer to the center, which is unfortunate, but I'm adapting very quickly and don't even really need to think about it to avoid putting undue pressure on it.  Even when I do put pressure on it, it rarely actually hurts, but there's that gut instinct that it could.

    The pinkie is doing great as well.  No odd sensations in the skin, no discomfort.  The magnet likely is deeper than the others.  Exactly how deep is hard to say without an x-ray.  It feels deeper, though.  There was a small but of scabbing still left as of this morning, but in a moment of irritation, I grabbed a nice fresh scalpel and cut that off.  It was sort of inset into the skin and was sort of pulling on the skin around it (the scab was very thin and tight) but once removed, there was good smooth skin underneath and no blood loss on removal.  The small inset is no longer visible and the finger looks basically normal.  The hyper-sensitivity of that implant has receded some, but it is still far more sensitive than the others.

    As for the multi-implant feeling goes, it's just as you'd imagine and as I described in another post in this thread.  Bear in mind, I only had a single implant for two weeks before I added the second, so I've not got alot of experience with single implants to be able to directly compare, but I can imagine how much "less" it would seem to have only one.  By adjusting my fingers, I can feel different depths in a field at the same time.  I can spread my fingers wider and curl them around a field to get a feel for its shape that is more, and I apologize for not having a better word for it, "real".

    All in all, I'm super excited by the four magnets.  I'm perpetually curious to feel fields.  I'm a sucker for neodymium magnets as playthings, too, now.  I keep a small stack of them on my desk at work that I idly toy with, even unconsciously at times.  It's funny how something can become so much more when you have that internalized feel for it, you know?  The smoothness of the field around a permanent magnet, the feeling that it's sitting in a three dimensional hole in space that your fingers are sliding into, the fluttery softness of the small block that's a part of my work's phone system, the staccato urgency of the field around a pair of hair clippers I've got at my house, the interesting rectangle under my laptop's keyboard that feels somehow "hot".  It sometimes seems like there aren't really the right words to describe the sensations and what you end up describing it as is really only a shadow of what it really is.  Endlessly fascinating.

    * EDIT * - I'm still considering one the the middle segment of a finger just to satisfy my curiosity about what it would be like.  I will almost certainly put one in at some point just to know what it's like.  Also, having four implants sometimes makes me feel like my thumb is somehow empty, you know?  I can't seem to find a good spot in the thumb, though, so I've not put one in yet.  But with a thumb implant, I could almost "grab" a field and really get to know it.  We'll see...
  • Thanks for the update @aviin, it was a joy to read.

    I may be derailing this thread a bit, sorry, if you want me to move this post to another thread, let me know.

    Firstly, that's interesting about the pinky implant being deeper and more sensitive. I had a similar experience with my (only) magnet implant, because the guy who did it used a local nerve block, he could do the implant deeper without pain. He used a scalpel to slice right down from the tip of the finger to near the base of the pad, and placed the magnet at the end of this incision.
    Most people report that it takes a while, weeks or months before they gain full sensitivity, but mine was most sensitive right away, with it slowly decreasing until it stabilized after ~5 months.
    You are the first person I've heard of that may be in the same situation. Please keep us updated on how it goes.

    Secondly, about your descriptions of feeling different fields. I really agree, English isn't suited to talking about magnetic sensations. Which makes sense, it developed to communicate about the world and how people interact with it, we have a wide range of words for talking about the other 5 senses, but no one ever needed to talk about feeling magnetic fields, until now.
    I've run into this problem before, people ask what fields feel like, and it's pretty much impossible to really explain.

    The area of my laptop keyboard where the fan is feels kind of like a dome of pressure, smoothly increasing toward the center. And the area where the hdd feels like a 'staticy' rough area. and the motors in the electric city trams feel like an increased 'intensity' in the air, almost as though I can feel them 'pushing' the tram forward. but even these descriptions are not quite right, I really feel like I lack the language to describe them fully.
    maybe one day we will have better words...
  • It's precisely because we don't have words for these things that makes this so extraordinary to experience.  40,000 generations of humans never experienced this, and most alive today will not either.  This is a gift we've been fortunate to be exposed to.  I'm thankful everyday that I read about magnet implants, found this forum, and was able to get to where I am.  Awesome...
  • edited January 2015
    10.25am 14/01/15:

    My m31s arrived last week. 

    I have been waiting ever since then for some piercing needles i ordered before Christmas to arrive, and going quietly mad in anticipation.

    I think I have been disturbing the postman with my hovering around the letterbox and daily expressions of dismay.

    Today my enormous, sharp needles finally arrived! 

    I am going to get my caffeine and nicotine just right, and then get started.

    Not even remotely concerned about the large hollow needle, because I am not a wuss. I am sure they are very sharp indeed. And I am hardcore. 

    Later today I will have at least one, likely two, sweet magnets in my paw.


    Just placed a magnet in my middle finger pad. That was slower and trickier than i thought. Sharp needles, but tough skin.

    It was no more painful than some piercings I have had before, but rather than the acute pain of piercing, it was drawn out as i found the right depth and made a channel for the magnet.

    It was a bit tricky getting the magnet in the tiny hole, and i ended up resorting to using bit of spaghetti to ensure it was all the way in. I checked the placement with the other magnet, and it is now wrapped up and only mildly uncomfortable.

    I will have another coffee and then probably put the other one in. I am thinking of my pinky for that one.

    Anyway, thanks @aviin for your helpful advice and photographs.

    edit: Both magnets in. The pinky as even harder to get the magnet in place.
    I hope it stays put. 

    When m61 magnets become available, I am keen to place them using the rfid injector.
    That will cut down on the hassle of placement, and I also won't have to bugger around with sourcing needles again.

    4.50pm 14/01/15

    I have had a look at the wounds and checked the placement of the the magnets with other magnets again. Everything is to my liking.

    I am so pleased. I have wanted this for years, and now I have two!

  • I vote this for the best post of implantation.

    magnets in paw. paw paws! yay!

    now: pics ?

    Srrsly people, document your ish.  Everyone is doing such good work on themselves, but without pics, how do we know? Record your stuff. Failures are learning experiences too! We need this information.

  • I was just nuking a curry and got some mad tingles!

    My fingers are healing beautifully, and I am really looking forward to all the fun that lies ahead.

  • edited January 2015
    One week later, my wounds are healed. 

    They were super itchy the past couple of days, but now all that remains is very mild tenderness in my pinky site, and also minor discoloration.

    Played around with a safety pin today to check out the magnet positions, and am happy with the results.

  • WOOT WOOT! @splitwine should have been on the skype call the other day, we are making the wiki usable o_0
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