By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Are you allergic to nickel?

Nickel is a metal that is commonly part of the hardware utilized for hip replacement surgery. It is very important to recognize this prior to surgical procedures. This has not always been easy.

In the not too distant past patients would often have to see either an allergist or a dermatologist and undergo patch testing, which requires a couple of visits, to determine whether or not they have nickel allergy. Today many people can go and have a simple blood test but the key is to think about the allergy potential prior to the procedure.

As you can well imagine, an allergy to nickel in an implanted device can cause all types of problems.

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