June 1988

Complications of Needle Localization of Foreign Bodies and Nonpalpable Breast Lesions

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Radiology (Drs Bronstein and Kilcoyne) and Surgery (Dr Moe), University of Washington, Seattle.

Arch Surg. 1988;123(6):775-779. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400300121022

• Needle-wire localization of foreign bodies and nonpalpable breast lesions is commonly used to allow for more accurate excision or biopsy. We present three examples of complications of the localization procedure: (1) wire migration into the chest wall with retained fragment, (2) transection of a wire during biopsy with retained hook fragment, and (3) wire migration within the thigh soft tissues with breakage at the hooked end. Recommendations to minimize the incidence of these complications and their sequelae include (1) bending the hookwire 90° at the skin surface following localization, (2) transferring the patient between the radiology suite and the operating room via a stretcher, with minimal movement of the body part localized, and (3) accounting for the entire length of wire by the surgeon, pathologist, and radiologist following the procedure to exclude retained fragments.

(Arch Surg 1988;123:775-779)