A common question I get asked is "What if you have to get an MRI?" I almost found out the hard way. Following a heavy New Year's Eve celebration, I had abdominal pain. Not out of the ordinary, but in the two days following it worsened and I felt it was time to see a doctor. I went to an emergency clinic, where after a quick examination I was told "You need to go to the ER and get an MRI."
I immediately thought of my implant and asked the doctor if she would be able to remove a foreign body (i.e. the implant) if need be. She believed that it could be shielded, but I would have to ask the imaging technicians at the ER.
Several hours later I found myself getting a CAT scan of my abdomen, which was completely unaffected by the implant. The ER doctors said that an MRI would only be necessary if more detailed imaging were needed. They also said, however, that there was no way to shield the magnet in my finger from the scan, and that it's presence would make an MRI impossible. (The door to the MRI area even plainly stated "NO METALLIC IMPLANTS.")
Eventually I was cleared, given an industrial strength laxative and a clean bill of health, but the experience opened my eyes to some serious situations. What if I had needed an MRI? Would they have been able to quickly remove the implant? What if it had been a time-critical emergency, and I were unconscious? Could having an implant ultimately endanger my life by preventing doctors from acting quickly? What would happen if I were exposed to the machine without removing the implant - would it be torn from my finger or forcefully dragged through tissue?
There are definitely some serious issues that come with a magnetic implant. Don't forget others are in the same boat though, whether through joint replacement surgery or metallic shrapnel, or even an artificial heart. So if you are seriously considering getting a magnetic implant, be sure to weigh and prepare for the possible consequences.