Finally got my amplatzer removed

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 9/2/2009 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Back in april i had an amplatzer device put in because of an atrial septal defect. I had told the doctor i was allergic to nickel. He told me it was made of different type of metal and didnt have nickel in in it.So i agreed to have it put in . A few days after surgery i woke up to my heart feeling like it was on fire.
I spent the last 4 months with cronic hives to the point my bones would itch. In july i woke up to a horrible rash. I looked like someone threw hot water on me.I was put on predisone and told to wait 6 more weeks.
Went to my own family doctor and said dont think i got 6 more weeks left in me and they got the ball rolling.
9 days  ago i met a wonderful surgeon who took one look at me and put a rush on it to take it out. He  took it out with the robot and used the sack around my heart to fix the hole.He was wonderful!!!!
I just want to let everyone know that a nickel allergy is very real with these devices and it can be the most miserable thing to go thru.
I did have the melisa test done. 3 is a postive and i was 18. It was the best 327.00 i ever spent. Because once it was in i had to prove it needed to come out.
Has been out a week now and i feel great other than normal surgery aches and pains. :-)

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 9/2/2009 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi betterfly0000000....I can't believe your doctor told you it was not made of nickel. The device is made of 54% nickel and titanium and they call the metal nitinol. You are one of the very rare one's that had a severe allergic reaction to the device. From what my dr told me and from what I read on amplatzer's website, it can happen, but it is very rare. It sounds awful what you went through. I am glad to hear you are feeling much better. What is the melisa test? where did you have your procedure? seems in Canada they still do open heart surgery's the usual way. Did you have to be put on bypass with the procedure?

Other than the horrible rash and hives, did you feel okay? And how big was your hole? I appreciate your answers. Sounds like you have a wonderful family doctor who listened to you.

Take care,

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 9/2/2009 9:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I couldnt have open heart the normal way due to the permanent metal staples they would have to put in. Thru all this testing i found out i also I have an epxoy resin allergy so they didnt want to try to use a dacron patch.The amplatzer has polyester in it and they are wondering if i may have had a double allergy. That is why they used they sack around my heart. Yes you can live just fine with a piece missing.
As far as to how i felt it is very hard to explain. My head felt like it was to heavy for my body and had a knot on one temple. My bones would ache till i thought they would break. I would look at my cat brush and just think it would be wonderful to dig the hide off myself to stop the crawling feeling. My heart would race i was on 200 mg of toprol twice aday to keep it down to 110. The burning feeling lasted about 2 months what felt like bee stings lasted a lil bit longer.
The melisa test you can find on the internet. They are the only ones who due metal testing with blood but they have to ship it out of usa. Mine was sent to canada. This is why it cost that much.I had a metal test done here by patch and they told me i wasnt allergic and i knew it wasnt right.Nickel allergy is more comman in women than men but it still happens.
What got my dr attention the most is i looked burnt. my chest was seeping out of big red hives.
He told me my heart would be slowed down with meds so i was on bypass. Other than a pretty nice bruise it was no big deal.It hurts a bit more than the cath did.
The biggest cut they made on me is about 4 inches right below my right collar bone area. The rest of my spots were drain tubes and my central iv line.
The piece i had in was 20mm and they told me the hole didnt get any bigger.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 9/5/2009 12:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Butterfly0+,
I'm so happy to hear you finally had the Amplatzer Occluder removed!  That cardio should did a number on you, lying to you like that about the Amplatzer not having nickel.  Shame on him and all careless doctors out there.
I remember we chatted a couple of times about your body having an allergic reaction to the implant.  I'm glad you followed your instincts and had the Melissa test done, the piece removed and you are now on the road to full recovery!
I hope you enjoy the rest of your life!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 9/8/2009 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you greenhope
I cant believe how much better i feel. I had began to feel like i was soooo crazy and the cardio wanted me to think that. He kept saying i just didnt understand that it would seal over and the reaction would go away. The piece has points on both sides that i doubt would ever have covered over.
I realize what happen is suppose to be rare but i wonder how rare it really is? Are they others that dont feel well and cant understand why?
I feel the melisa test should be allowed in the usa. So insurance companys will be willing to help us get testing.Or make it comman place to test before anything is placed in our bodies
I am just glad it wasnt a joint replacement or somthing that couldnt be replaced
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