Localization and removal of ferromagnetic foreign bodies by magnet

Ann Plast Surg. 2002 Nov;49(5):541-4. doi: 10.1097/00000637-200211000-00016.


Foreign bodies should be removed from wounds during the primary wound management stage whenever possible. Metallic fragments can be identified and localized by conventional radiography, computed tomography, sonography, x-ray image intensifier, or electromagnetic metal detector. Locating metallic objects may still cause problems for the surgeon during the removal procedure. Detection and removal of superficial ferromagnetic fragments (iron, nickel, and cobalt) by a magnet is possible. In the literature the authors found no report about using the magnet for this purpose. Having conferred with the manufacturer KANAT (Istanbul, Turkey), the authors used a magnet made of neodymium. The power of the magnet was 12,000 gauss. It was cylindrical and 1.3 x 0.8 cm in diameter. This method was used in 6 patients successfully for localization and removal of ferromagnetic foreign bodies. Use of a magnet is an easy and cost-effective method that does not require education and specific staff.

MeSH terms

  • Ferric Compounds
  • Foreign Bodies / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Magnetics / therapeutic use*
  • Neodymium


  • Ferric Compounds
  • ferrite
  • Neodymium