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Use of a pacemaker magnet to remove a broken suture needle during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Derek Titus, James Rifenbery

Abstract: Prompt removal of unintended surgical foreign bodies is essential for prevention of adverse consequences of retained surgical foreign bodies postop. Current practices utilizing radiographic images in combination with visual inspection and palpation to remove foreign bodies can lead to increased surgical times and tissue damage. A suture needle fragment broke off during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy performed on a morbidly obese adult female. After being unable to retrieve the fragment by increasing the midline incision by ~7 cm and undergoing an additional ~1 of intraoperative time, a pacemaker magnet wrapped in sterilized plastic was able to instantaneously remove the shard. Techniques utilizing magnetism could be researched and developed for the removal of surgical foreign bodies both intraoperatively and postop.
Keywords: remove / obese / pacemaker magnet / plastic / adult / surgical / intraoperative / laparoscopic

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