Monday, June 9, 2008

5 Weeks later, looking good

It's now been over five weeks since the implant. Everything appears to be going well, as the magnet has not migrated any further. It seems that it did indeed stop where the stitch had originally been placed, indicating that future implantations should be stitched more deeply.

I often find myself maneuvering my finger close to objects to take in any sensations that may be present, rotating my hand unnaturally. Ideally, I would like to use my entire hand hand rather than a single finger. Here's the location of my implant now:

The yellow dot shows the approximate location of my implant.

I think a quite favorable result could be achieved by using 12 total implants, like so:

Using multiple implants on each finger could give much more rich sensation.

At this point, however, I don't think that this is a good idea. Since my first implant has healed at a depth more shallow than I originally intended, it can be felt by pressing on my finger. Certain activities, such as gripping objects or playing foosball (as I discovered), can easily stress and cause pain and injury to the area. While it's not a big deal for a single finger, as I instinctively favor my other fingers now, a full array of these could pose quite a problem during day to day activities. Also, there is the question of polarity and orientation. There are no markings on the magnets to show their orientation (through playing with a compass I determined mine is South side out.) For an effective array, I would think that the magnets should all be oriented in the same way, which could be quite difficult to ensure during the implantation process. Something to start thinking about, at very least.

I'll continue to monitor the existing implant, and perhaps get two or three more in the near future, but a full hand project is still a ways off. On a related note, I'm receiving a set of significantly larger, more powerful, Parylene coated magnetic cylinders. I hope to implant one to see the effects of a more powerful magnet.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rejected? Part two.

The skin has healed, and aside from a bit of redness looks completely normal.

Having just passed the four week mark, it seems like things aren't going so well. The magnet has slowly moved closer and closer to the surface as the tissue inside heals it out. The same coating that makes the implant biocompatible also makes it quite slick to tissue, which is unable to "grab" it. The surface tissue is completely healed, but pressing gently reveals a spot beneath (it turns white, like when I push on my skin and let go.) In the right light, the dark color of the implant can be seen through the skin.
Gently pushing above the implant reveals that it is quite shallow. The darker area is assumed to be the magnet.

The magnet's ability to attract metallic objects has increased dramatically, which also indicates that the implant is getting closer to the surface. This is the critical point though, as the magnet has reached the depth at which the stitch had healed. If the migration stops here, it should be OK. If it continues to push out, however, I will have to remove it. A deeper stitch would be definitely recommended for a later try, as it would cause this critical point to be deeper in the skin as well.

If the implant ends up stabilizing, the migration will be a blessing in disguise. As the magnet has surfaced, my ability to feel minute vibrations has sharpened considerably. For now I will continue letting it be. It is not at all painful or uncomfortable, and still appears to be far enough under the skin to not pose a problem.