Thank you for posting your question.
It is understandable that you have questions about metal markers. These are known as surgical clips. They are used in breast surgery to identify the edges of the area that has been removed This helps the pathologist to see whether or not the edges (margins) are clear of disease. If the margins are involved, the surgeon can easily identify where further tissue should be removed.
The surgical clips are radio-opaque which means they will show up when you have a follow up mammogram. This helps the radiology team when they are looking at your mammograms to know exactly where the surgery was. They are also useful in helping to plan for radiotherapy
The clips will not set off alarms at airports and are suitable for having an MRI. As @Debbie Kelly says, it is common for these surgical clips to be used.
Do call our Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. We often find we can help people more by speaking to them on the phone. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.
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Breast Care Nurse
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I had a market left after my biopsy. Don't know if it will still be there after surgery. Suspect it might (or they'll put another one in during surgery) so they can reliably find the affected area again.
Dont think it causes any problems or size efgects as far as I know. My biopsy doctor told me she was putting it in.
I had metal markers inserted when i had my biopsy taken. They said it was common practice as the lumps were very small and therefore they could detect them later.
Hi - I have had to have a second surgery after lumpectomy due to margins not being enough. When I asked how they would be sure to take the right tissue as it’s been 7 weeks since first surgery they said that they leave metal markers in the breast for life? This was never mentioned before nor has is come up in any of my research- is this common practice? Thank you