Botched the insertion

edited February 2015 in Procedures
I attempted magnet insertion myself; ordered a ton of sterile supplies and some lidocaine, and went at it with a friend all scrubbed up to assist. Unfortunately, my scalpel wasn't shaped correctly (#10) to make a deep enough pocket without making a massively oversized incision, and the lidocaine was wearing off by the time I tried using the tip of my surgical scissors to open a pocket, which created a triangular shaped opening that didn't fit the magnet well anyway. I had it big enough for the magnet to fit but it barely peeked through the wound, and there was no way to stitch it so I called it off.

The next day, I got a different type of scalpel (#15) that definitely did the job better, but the ice water numbing was insufficient to numb the pain enough to the point I felt I could continue to safely operate on myself as pain worsened, so I quit on that one real quickly.

I'm really frustrated; a magnet implant is something I've been looking forward to a whole lot. I feel like the dog tags I was so eager to get to let EMS know about is are in my desk mocking me haha. While I will attempt it again, I leave university for home in a couple weeks, and I'm sure it's going to be more difficult to find space and time to do it with my parents around (to say nothing of the wasted money on the lidocaine).

The incision sites are healing really well, so I can't complain too much, but I just felt like venting... I got a new Arduino, magnetometer, etc. to work with a new input and interaction device for my computer, and I have to put that on hold. Ugh. Failure sucks.


  • Yeah, I noticed the same thing with the ice water. It helped for the initial cut into the skin, but after that it didn't seem to do much for cutting a pocket. I'll try getting a number 15 scalpel like you did and see if I can make the pocket better since I should be redoing mine after I get home today.

    Hopefully you can find time to implant another one soon. What finger are you planning on? Are you getting more lidocaine or going to try with ice again?
  • I'm probably going to do my left middle finger, mainly because I don't want to disrupt scar tissue on my ring and pinky. I will definitely be getting lidocaine again; the digital block was superbly effective... Just gotta wait until my poor college student budget affords me money to buy more scalpels and lido.
  • What does the lidocaine cost?
  • edited June 2014
    I got mine for $39 from, and it was super simple. I did a digital web block, which is easy - just insert the (very thin) needle into the web space of your finger to either side of the knuckle of the finger you want to numb. There's a more effective but way more difficult type of block called a transthecal block but it takes some skill; the web block is super super easy. 2cc's either side and my whole finger was sensationless for ~40 mins. I'd HIGHLY recommend it.

    Also, the lidocaine is a great vasoconstrictor (I think); when I was bleeding form the incision, squirting lidocaine in the wound made it stop bleeding instantly.
  • How long did you ice your finger? When I got mine done a few weeks ago I used ice water and the glove for ~5 min and I hardly felt anything.

    I went the slightly easier route and had Steve Haworth do the procedure for me as I am a perfectionist in most cases and didn't want to waste the effort messing up the first time. After the ice he just sliced into my finger, created the pocket and dropped the magnet in with a single stitch. All in all the pain level was comparable to any basic kitchen injury one might expect. I had the stitch removed around 5 days after the initial cut and I can't even find a scar.

    I would be interested in the future to test out the lido for the sake of curiosity as the ice didn't really bother me at all. Plus there was virtually no bleeding on my end which I presume is from the blood vessels being cooled down so less traffic.
  • I had mine in the water for 15 minutes and things started to hurt right quick. I actually like the aspect of doing it myself; I've considered going to a mod artist but there's something cool about doing it in your own kitchen (I've already bought all the supplies anyway).

    The lidocaine is great because you've got a guaranteed block; sensation was 100% gone entirely.
  • You might want to be careful "squirting lidocaine right in the wound." @Cassox blog has a pretty good descriptor of the risks.
  • I looked through his block and couldn't find anything on that - I did, however, find a number of nursing sites that said that squirting it in is acceptable. Could you point me to your sources, please? :)
  • @mothball Sorry... Rechecked the blog. I was thinking of the step during a digital nerve block when you aspirate the syringe to make sure you aren't injecting into a vein, the danger being the effects of lidocaine on the circulatory system. 
  • Ah, yes - into a vein can cause cardiac issues, but just into interstitial capillaries, I doubt there's that much issue.
Sign In or Register to comment.