Adverse Reactions to Titanium Surgical Staples in a Patient After Cholecystectomy

Frederick Tiesenga, MD, FACS, Jenny Wang, MD, Christina Crews, APN NP-C

West Suburban Hospital, Westlake Hospital, Presence Health Systems, Elmhurst Hospital, Elmwood Park, IL (all authors).


Titanium is a metal known for its biocompatibility and corrosion resistance.1,2 Its uses in the medical field range from long-term orthopedic implants and pacemakers to daily-use articles such as eyeglass frames and ornamental body piercings.3 Metal allergies are classically known to occur with nickel, gold, cobalt, and chrome3. Titanium has not been fully recognized as an allergen; however, there have been a number of documented incidents of patients with a possible sensitivity to titanium.4-10 One specific case reported by Tamai et al. identifies surgical metal clips as the source of an allergen for a breast cancer patient who underwent breast-conserving therapy. The patient, who had a known history of atopic dermatitis and many allergies to foods and drugs, developed worsening atopic dermatitis that was ultimately caused by titanium surgical clips.6 We report here another case of possible allergic reaction to titanium surgical clips used in a patient for a cholecystectomy procedure.

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