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Temporary removal of navel piercing jewelry for surgery and imaging studies



Temporary removal of navel piercing jewelry for surgery and imaging studies



Pediatrics 114(3): E384



Navel piercings are becoming increasingly popular among adolescents. Body piercing jewelry must be removed before surgery, because electrical burns can occur with electrocauterization. Also, piercing jewelry creates artifacts during magnetic resonance imaging. Even temporary piercing jewelry removal may lead to closure of the subcutaneous tract; therefore, temporary replacement with a nonmetallic spacer is indicated. This report describes a simple, safe, effective method for perioperative temporary replacement of navel piercing jewelry with a universally available, nonmetallic, sterile, intravenous catheter. The umbilical piercing jewelry of 5 adolescent female patients was removed before surgical or radiologic interventions by using the following technique: 1) disinfecting the piercing and umbilical area with 70% isopropyl alcohol, 2) opening the piercing jewelry by removing the bead from the bar, 3) placing the tip of a tight-fitting intravenous catheter (14 or 16 gauge, without the needle) over the threaded tip of the bar, 4) advancing the intravenous catheter caudally, pushing the piercing out of the skin tract, and 5) removing the jewelry and leaving the intravenous catheter in the subcutaneous skin tract as a spacer. After the intervention, the piercing jewelry was reinserted by following the described steps in reverse order. The patients were evaluated after 1 week, for assessment of any adverse effects, including infection. With this method, piercing jewelry removal and reinsertion required <2 minutes for all patients. No procedural complications were noted. All jewelry was reinserted successfully after the procedure. The intravenous catheter left in situ did not interfere with surgery, and it did not produce any artifacts or adverse effects during magnetic resonance imaging. Follow-up evaluations at 1 week demonstrated no signs of irritation, infection, or other side effects of the procedure for any of the patients. Periprocedural removal of navel piercing jewelry with this new technique proved to be quick, feasible, and safe. Piercings in other locations on the body may be replaced for surgery or imaging studies in the same way, with minor modifications.

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Accession: 012623677

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15342902

DOI: 10.1542/peds.2004-0130


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