Second Implant After 4 Year Hiatus

Hey everybody, it's good to be back. You're all weirdos, but so am I.

I stuck a magnet in my finger for the first time back in 2014, it was a basic parylene coated 3x1mm magnet from SuperMagnetMan. Obviously those are somewhat out of fashion these days. I used a Dangerous Things Pain Management Kit and a #10 scalpel, but I don't think I made the pocket quite deep enough. I had a job on a farm for a short period of time after implanting that one, and the combination of physical trauma, dirt, and poor installation caused it to pop out after about a month. I'd gained some sensitivity in that time though, and wanted to reimplant ASAP.

I ordered an M31 around that time (or it may have been a bit later), but due to a number of factors I ended up sticking it in a closet with a new PMK and forgetting about it for the most part.

I recently decided I wanted to get back on the biohacking horse, so last night I dug out the old M31, PMK, surgical gloves, and box of scalpels. The M31 has a pretty decent track record, if not perfect, so I figured it'd be good practice for the next generation of biomagnets, if nothing else. I'm very excited for this new magnet I've seen Cassox posting about.

I'm somewhat obsessive about the cleanliness of my procedures, I ended up disinfecting/sterilizing the magnet with chlorhexidine, isopropyl, and finally a couple dabs from the skin prep.

I wrapped a tourniquet around my left ring finger, and started to do a nerve block. And that's where things started to suck. See, I don't like needles. At all. I have no problem with pain, scalpels or blood, and the magnet implant procedure is mostly just intriguing to me. But trying to get that needle into my finger was a battle between my rational and lizard brains. I sure as hell wasn't going to try and do this without anaesthetic though, from what I've heard that's close to literal torture. I wanted to take my time, work smoothly, and get the best results possible.

I looked up the Pain Management Kits again after the procedure, and learned that they've switched to #30 needles. That seems like a good move. Mine was a #27, and I have fairly tough skin, so it wasn't trivial.

Anyway, by the time I'd injected enough lidocaine to numb my finger, I was getting tunnel vision, ringing in my ears, and felt slightly nauseous. I knew it wasn't a reaction to the lidocaine, I've used that in clinical and biohacking settings before without issue. But that needle really got to me. I ended up laying down for almost half an hour trying to relax, by which point the anaesthetic was starting to wear off. So I jabbed myself a few more times (it got easier with practice, and not being able to feel the needle made the whole thing a bit more comfortable), and picked up where I left off.

Despite being a complete baby when it comes to needles, I'm perfectly happy slicing myself open. I made the incision on the right side of my left ring finger (when looking at the palm), the exact opposite side of the finger from my first failed implant. It only took a few small slices to reach the reddish tissue layer underneath the skin, and I used one half of a pair of surgical scissors to separate the skin from the fatty tissue underneath. A small globule of fatty tissue hung out and started getting in the way as I dug around enlarging the pocket, so I snipped that off.

I enlarged the pocket slowly, and test fit the magnet several times. On the third test fit, it slid perfectly into the back of the pouch, and the flap immediately sealed up perfectly. I took that as a sign that I'd gotten the placement right, and though I had sutures on hand I elected to go with a steri-strip to seal up the incision. Like I said, it had already vacuumed itself together perfectly (even the fingerprint ridges on either side were perfectly aligned), and there was no pressure holding the cut open.

With the steri-strip placed, I dabbed a bit of triple antibiotic around the edges of the cut and took off the tourniquet. A small amount of blood beaded up around the top and bottom of the incision, on either side of the steri-strip. I let it ooze for a short while before applying light pressure until the bleeding stopped, which took about 2 minutes as the reprofusing finger swelled slightly before returning to a regular condition.. At that point I dabbed a bit of liquid bandage on either side of the steri-strip to anchor it down and seal up the edges of the cut, then wrapped a piece of sterile gauze around the fingertip and secured it with tape.

I took some ibuprofen to help reduce swelling, and either it has been incredibly effective or my finger just wasn't going to swell up very muchanyway . It looks exactly the same now as it did right after the surgery, normal except for a small red line where the blood dried along the incision. I've seen reports from other people where the swelling took some time to develop, but I'm at nearly 24 hours post-surgery and I have a good feeling about it. So far it seems to be healing well, and I'm excited to see how it continues to progress. I'll be keeping the steri-strip on for at least 5 days before replacing it, and I've been removing and checking the gauze wrap every 8 hours or so.

I know it's early days yet, but the implant procedure itself went extremely smoothly after I got the anaesthetic administered. There's been so little swelling that I actually started to wonder if the magnet had fallen out between when I put it in and when I applied the steri-strip, but the magnetometer in my phone confirmed that it's in there.

Anyway, here are some pictures of 24h post-op.

Comments

  • edited February 23

    Alright ladies and gentlemen, update time.

    It's been 4.5 days since I implanted the magnet, and I just removed the original steri-strip. It was starting to come loose anyway, and I felt like I'd healed up fairly well so far. I've had almost no pain in the past few days, and have kept my finger wrapped in gauze over the steri-strip for padding.

    Because of how cleanly and immediately the wound closed, I have not used any more of my triple antibiotic since the tiny amount I put on the freshly sealed wound. I've been keeping it clean and dry, and it's been healing wonderfully.

    Here's a picture of my finger from an hour ago, just after I removed the original steri-strip and before I applied the new one. The wound appears to have closed up completely, but I will continue to keep it wrapped and protected for at least another week or so.

    I'm not even sure if the scar will be visible, at this point. The only trace of the wonud I can see is a very faint line through the residual dried blood. Using a brand new fresh scalpel made the cutting incredibly easy, and it seems to be paying off again by making the healing easy.

    I've heard of people using craft knives because they can't find scalpels, and they come in the same shapes. Don't do that. Having a ready-to-go sterile scalpel was more than worth the $20 I paid for 10 of them, and it was sharpened to be perfect for cutting flesh. Not paper and foam core.

    Because my magnet is sitting about 5/8ths of the way down my finger, typing has not been difficult or painful. Even with a bandage wrapped around the incision and most of the first knuckle, enough of my fingertip pokes out to type with reasonable speed and accuracy. Which is good, because I've had a lot of paperwork to do this week.

    According to the wiki, by 5 days if I haven't seen signs of infection I'm probably in the clear. Now I just wait for the nerves to grow back, and over the next few months I should gradually get more and more sensitivity!

    I'm feeling pretty good about this implant. With the right tools, patience during the implant procedure, and a clean close at the end, it seems like it's gone about as well as I could have hoped.

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