"surgical clip is present in the left axilla" What does this mean?

On the report of a recent CT scan it states “surgical clip is present in the left axilla”. What does this mean? It sounds to me like something left there during surgey, either my Mx or my SNB. I presume deliberatly left there? According to the second opinion doc I saw today, whatever it is, it is right at the centre of the pain and inflammation I am experiencing. He said he does not know what it means and will find out but I wondered if any one here might know?


Cressida when I had my lumpectomy I did not have clear margins. When I asked the surgeon how they would locate the area for re excision as there was no longer a lump and the mammogram had not shown anything in the first place She said we’ve left in clips or markers or something like that. No idea what it means though.

im not sure but i was told that they are markers for when you have radiotherapy so they know the exact area to treat. i have 2 clips and they were put in after i had my lumpectomy, i hope this is of some help, madalana

Hi Cressida

I read that surgical clips can be used during lymph node surgery to control blood loss.

Hi Cressida, as Sukem has already said surgical (Titanium) Clips are used during surgery to control blood loss and are left in after surgery. May I ask you a question? Are you allergic to Nickel? Can you wear non silver earrings without getting an itchy red very sore rash on your ears? The reason I ask is there is meant to be a small amount of Nickel in Titanium. If you google your very own topic title word for word you will find another forum with a thread about this very subject. Surgeons suggest that the clips are harmless and that after about six months scar tissue will form over the clips and the pain will stop. The women in the thread on the other forum would suggest other wise.
Funki x

Thanks everyone, I have googled and seen that it is common for them to leave clips after surgery. Must have been there since my SNB back in Feb 2012. Read one American thread (yes, I know it against the rules to read on American sites) and they were claiming they could feel the clips and some were getting them removed. Anyway, I now know that the response will be that it is impossible for the clip to have anything to do with it. Doesn’t mean that I know that it doesn’t, just that I know I will be told it doesn’t. It is interesting that the clip is right at the centre of the pain and imflamation. xxx