New implant has suddenly migrated

My newly implanted xEM suddenly shifted backward half an inch, and now sits with one end almost right against my thumb’s metacarpal. I can pinpoint exactly when it’s happened, because I’ve been watching it closely since I had it implanted 5 days ago: it’s happened an hours ago while I was cycling back home from work. Before setting off, the chip was where I had it implanted. When I arrived home an hour later, it had shifted all on its own. No shocks, no nothing. It simply decided to take a hike.

I’m not really surprised though: for 5 days, it was more or less sitting on top of the thenar muscle where I had it implanted. But each time I would contract the muscle, it would rise on top of the bulge, and I could tell it wanted to slide down to the lowest point at the base of the muscle. And in truth, it’s much more comfortable there.

Also, I’m not really worried, because my other chip (not DT), which is about 1 cm away in the same hand and parallel to the xEM, has done exactly the same thing on the other side of the thenar muscle, with one end almost touching the bone too, and seems to be just fine where it is. It took longer to move because it’s coated in biobond, but it moved all the same, and quite dramatically too.

I could push the xEM back forward but I won’t for two reasons: firstly it’s reached such a cozy low point in my hand that it just won’t climb back up the muscle unless I insist to the point of becoming painful. Secondly, even if I did, it would drop back down again eventually, since DT chips aren’t coated with parylene. And I’m quite certain it can happily stay there forever with no ill effect, and it seems to be fairly well protected from accidents at that location.

Still, I’m curious about two things:

  • Can a chip actually touch a bone - without accidentally banging it against it that is - and if it does, does it matter? Is there some meat between the underside of the skin and the bone? Sorry if the question seems dumb, I ain’t no doctor, I’ve never studied anatomy.

  • How come both my implants slid away from their original implant locations so readily (particularly the xEM)? It’s almost as if the skin was only loosely bound to whatever is underneath and not holding anything in place particularly well. Yet considering how hard the piercer had to push to slide the needle underneath the skin, it would be surprising. So what gives?

Anyway, I guess I now have extra space for a third chip at the front of the thenar muscle if I really wanted one. An xLED comes to mind :slight_smile:

On a side note, the oversized EM41xx chip in my other hand (not DT either), which was coated, and which I was very careful not to bump for a few weeks, sits exactly where I had it placed and is now firmly anchored, even with the muscle trying to push it out underneath. I wish DT chips were coated also, even if it means more butchery to get them out.


Yep this is common… gripping things (like the handlebars) can cause this kind of movement.

No not really… if the chip really is in the fascia layer, then it will slide over the bone with a thin layer between it and the bone… but the concern is that an outside force could come along and press the chip into the bone, and with nowhere to go, the chip glass encapsulation could be broken much more easily than if it were being pressed into muscle or fat tissue.

The skin it tough, but the fascia is what holds the skin to the muscle… and that is a network of extremely tough, but flexible and sparse cords of fibrin and collagen. It looks kinda like this;

This is why a chip can slide around under the skin pretty easily if it’s not properly encapsulated. Also, when I say tough, I really mean tough… this tissue is even less dense in animals like dogs and cats, but you can pick the whole animal up by the “scruff” because the fascia is so absolutely resilient… so when you have a chip that is properly encapsulated, removal is made difficult because you have to cut away this encapsulation on one end or the chip will never leave it’s cocoon.


We considered this, but honestly if the chip is more comfortable in it’s new home and it’s sitting in an area that is still safe, then it’s better that it be there.

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I must say Amal, you really did your research: who else can come up with 3D renderings and photos of fascia tissue on the spot eh? :slight_smile:

Anyway, very informative. Thanks for the explanation.

You’re probably right. But it gives me the creeps to see them slide around. My other chip that’s anchored on a high point above the muscle in my right hand is also comfortable but doesn’t shift, which I find virually more comforting. But that’s just me.

Also - and that’s an unexpected side effect - it’s much more visible than the shifty uncoated ones in my left hand that like to hide on the sides of the muscle, and easier to show to other people who are interested by implants. That turned out to be an asset to convince the piercer who did my last implant to go ahead and do it, because he could readily see that I had another one done and it was all a-okay.

It should really stop moving after a while… since you are cycling and probably in generally good health, you should also ensure now that the chip has found a new home that it stay there (as best you can keep it in place)… and try taking prenatal vitamins for 30 days… build you that collagen and fibrin to help lock it in place.

As with most things, they can be argued both ways :wink:
For what it is worth, I would agree with Amals logic, also if you were to hit
something and it can move out of the way there will be less damage than a direct hit!Slip

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That one ain’t going nowhere: it’s stuck at the low point between the bony junction of the index finger thumb metacarpals and the muscle bulge in front of it. It’s in a sort of triangular “hole”: it naturally stays there because it would need to climb above the index metacarpal to slide left, above the thumb metacarpal to slide right, onto the junction of both to slide backward, or back onto the muscle to slide forward. It prefers to stay where it’s at purely mechanically.

This is a good topic to have read as I ride year round in Canada and work as a cleaner, so lots of gripping mops and very hands-on. Gonna try and take a bunch of time off to ensure a good heal cuz while it’s not the end of the world, a migrating chip would be a bit of a bummer!

You could splint/corral your implant site and pop a lot of prenatals…


Yah! Plan on taking prenatals too :v: but a splint or a good taping job could be a good idea too!

Do you need a hand with suggestions on HowTo…Amal has posted it a few times. I can find one of his posts if you want.


Second, if you are concerned you can start taking prenatal vitamins to speed encapsulation. You can also build a kind of small little splint using a toothpick and tape… basically create a block so the tag can’t slide past the toothpick. The pressure needs to be pretty good, so use quality tape (medical or engineering tape).


That’s what I thought when my first chip settled way away from where I had it injected - especially considering the effort I put in marking the location and directing the piercer, and how well it turned out at the beginning :slight_smile: But it turned out to be a complete non-event: it’s where it wants to be, it’s totally unintrusive, and it doesn’t get caught on anything. The key thing is that it didn’t settle somewhere inconvenient for proper reading.


I won’t be fighting this one. It’s about impossible to bring it back onto the muscle. I tried it and it requires so much fiddling that it gets painful. It’s chosen to be there obviously, I’ll leave it be.

If its painful remove it.

No no it’s fine, it’s only painful if I try to nudge it back into its original position too hard. Kind of like my 2 other chips really: they’re happy where they are and they don’t like to be disturbed :slight_smile:

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Same thing happened with my NExT. It seems much happier in this location.
The only bummer is that I am now limited to activating door readers with only the back of my hand rather than the somewhat cooler palm forward option due to additional “meat” in the way.