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surgery mishap?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2005

My son had a total thyroidectomy a year ago. Recently he had an x-ray that revealed three areas of metal in his neck. We contacted the surgeon and after four days he responded stating that he has titanium clamps and no harm will come to him. I am concerned as his operating report mentions nothing of this, nor were we informed during any dr. visit post surgery. I am concerned because he now needs a MRI. I have been told that it's possible that the clamps can tear a blood vessel causing internal bleeding. I contacted my family physician and he won't comment. Please help me with your own stories.

Thank You....Teresa

Rustifox's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Mar 2005

I have not heard of any fellow thyroid cancer patients who have clamps left in them... that is not normal, to my understanding. And yes, an MRI is NOT a good idea if we have any kind of metal implants - plus, it will only show the area as a 'starburst' - the metal 'reflects' the picture, so the quality of the MRI would also be of questionable value.

Maybe think about posting this same question at Thyca - there are over 3000 thyroid cancer patients there, including some doctors who post sometimes... here is a link - it is free to join the group:

I hope you find some answers, but I can't imagine why anyone would leave metal in place like that - it doesn't make much sense to me.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2005

I just had the same surgery in May and they didn't use clamps. Do you know why they used the clamps? I never heard of that. I would get another opinion.

Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2002

Are you sure the surgeon did not say titanium CLIPS? I had a total thyroidectomy 4 years ago & was told before surgery that the surgeon would be using metal clips for sutures. These are micro-clips and I have about 40-50 of them. When I have my follow-up ultra sound scans they show up similar to scar tissure, but my endocrinologist is up to speed on the type of metal clips they used in surgery, so it is no problem in reading the scan. I do not know what implications there might be for an MRI, but I wanted to encourage you to get clarification of they are "clips" or "clamps". I hope that is helpful!

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2005

I'm really interested in the outcome of your sons metal clamps/clips that were left in following surgery.I had a total thyroidectomy a few years ago and when I had an upper spine xray recently the radiologist told me they were there, much to my surprise but I didn't follow through to find out why they are there.Since having the surgery I also have had a MRI done and I remember all the questions about whiether or not you have metal clips and I replied no as I was unaware of them at that stage, Scary! Please tell me how you got on.

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2019

I have had 2 surgeries to remove both sides of my thyroid. They did use surgical clips and I was not informed I found out after a MRI. apparently they are safe and common.  The metal is mri compatible.  I'm driving to another mri as I write this

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KlassyKat's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2021

Hello, I had a total thyroidectomy to remove 7 papillary carcinoma nodules in 2017.  I kept my lymp nodes and opted out of rai  therapy as the Dr said I wouldnt need it as they "got it all"...(warning what happened to me is RARE and not to be expected the dr said)

after  my total thyroidectomy surgery, while I was in icu...apparently I "popped" an internal stuture (stitch) in my neck and had begin to suffer a POST OPERATIVE HEMATOMA that in my husbands words "looked like you were inflating a pink tire around your neck" . I was (I was bleeding out over my airway) I was rushed back into surgery then placed on life support ventilator (tube down the throat)..when they moved me back into ICU the second time for recovery, however ...I woke up...while impaled with ventilator and restrained to bed (for my own safety.)  Unable to speak..  and terrified..those first few seconds before my husband realized i was awake.. it seemed like an eternity  I stared at the ceiling trying to make sense of what was going on..unable to move or speak in extreme pain, so glad my husband noticed my eyes were open..!!  ..for a week I stayed awake in a type of drugged twighlight state on a morphine cocktail designed to keep me just above the pain level. I had a drainage tube inserted in my neck that had a bulb on it that the nurse  would squeeze to remove the blood away.  Because I was awake while on breathing tube..I spoke to others one sided thru a notepad my mother had brought me. I was too scared to have them put me totally back to sleep again...I didnt think id come back a 3rd time...for me I have ptsd from the surgical experience. The surgery and recovery the first week was the hardest for me. After the surgery I completely lost my voice after the total thyroidectomy..but it came back with training and lots of hot honeylemon tea. AND now I'm a tenor voice lol. But grateful to have it back nonetheless. I'd be curious to know if anyone else has suffered a post operative hematoma from total thyroidectomy and if so..do you have issues with clearing your throat all the time?  Or have problems with constant hiccups now? I think my diaphragm has been scarred from the ventilator..dr says I have a lot of scar tissue. Curious if anyone else has had a similar experience. As that's one of my issues now. I'm also a ovarian cancer survivor and in medical menopause too. I'm s military wife and husband has been sent to hawaii. Sounds like paradise right? Well...during covid lockdown its very lonely. All my family is stateside and I havent anyone to talk with about my life post cancer surgery...any support would be much appreciated and reciprocated.  Stay safe all and thank you for your time. Blessed be all~Kat

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