In this installment of my piercing blog series on the subject of removal of jewelry, I will be covering the reasons and methods of removing jewelry during surgery and other medical procedures. There are a number of reasons to remove jewelry during a major operation. Often it is more of a case of trying to limit the amount of risks. Though the chances are that your piercing will not effect the outcome of your surgery, there are some complications that can come up during the operation that it would effect.
The first thing to consider is if the jewelry will be in the way or cause additional damage during the procedure. Obviously if you have a piercing in the general area of the surgery, there is a risk that it might get in the way, fall out and end up somewhere it shouldn't or the piercing may be damaged during the operation. Also oral piercings can interfere with anesthesia. This could cause a life threatening situation of during the insertion of the breathing tube the jewelry comes loose and cause you to swallow the jewelry or even worse have the jewelry ending up in your lungs.
Though jewelry made of a implant grade material is not conductive and shouldn't effect monitoring devices or be effected by heart defibulator, you should consider removing the jewelry just to reduce the risks.
Swelling is often a side effect of surgery especially when additional fluids have been injected into the body. Jewelry that is tight to the piercing may not have enough extra room to allow for this swelling. This could lead to tearing, migration, scarring and the jewelry becoming embedded even in a well healed piercing. Just like when the piercing was first done, your body will need larger jewelry to allow for the possibility of swelling to avoid problems.
Whenever in doubt removal of the jewelry is best. You should also consider especially if you have bought jewelry that is novelty jewelry with shaped objects that even though it was claimed to be safe it might contain substandard materials. This is especially the case with barbells with shaped ends. To keep the piercing open it would be best to replace the jewelry with a nonmetallic material like Monofilament nylon, teflon, Tygon Medical Surgical Tubing S-50HL or S-54HL or catheter tubin. It can be inserted into the piercing and the ends tied off.
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