Wedding ring wont come off finger… tomorrow
November 8, 2022 12:06 PM   Subscribe

I have a broken right hand and need surgery tomorrow on it. The wedding ring on my left (non-injured hand) is refusing to come off (it hasn't in years). Before I go fire up the mitre saw, how likely is that it will be a block to being in surgery under general anesthesia.

I have asked the medical team as well and waiting on their response, but trying to plan my day if I need to go find a jeweler quickly to get it cut off potentially or see if they have any magic tricks. I’ve tried various oils and other tricks I saw online.

Kidding about the mitre saw. I’d use the Dremel of course!
posted by inflatablekiwi to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If oils or soap don't work, have you tried the ribbon or string trick? My only input on the anesthesia is that when I went in for a hernia surgery a couple years ago, I was asked to remove all of my jewelry. Rings, necklace, earrings, watch.
posted by xedrik at 12:17 PM on November 8, 2022 [9 favorites]

Best answer: Have you tried windex?
posted by NotLost at 12:17 PM on November 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I would hold up my ring hand over my head to get the every day swelling down and then tug it off.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 12:18 PM on November 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: IANAD: Non-injured hand shouldn’t be a problem barring body-wide swelling, and an EMT can remove it anyway. They’re not hard to cut; even titanium isn’t too bad in a non-emergency situation.

…now, they may not WANT to cut it off for other reasons (liability?) but any hospital could do it if they needed to.
posted by aramaic at 12:20 PM on November 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A combination of holding my hand above my head for ten minutes and dogged pursuit of the ribbon trick removed a very firmly stuck/embedded ring on my ring finger. In the end I used string and wound it quite tight. It wasn't comfortable but it did work.
posted by gerygone at 12:22 PM on November 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I also find getting my hand nice and cold helpful! Normally running cold water over my hand for a minute is enough, but one time I dunked it in ice water for as long as I could stand. Makes the fingers as small as they can be, and the ribbon/string technique more likely to work.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 12:28 PM on November 8, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: When I needed to remove a wedding ring after my cat tagged my knuckle I was able to just cut it with a pair of wire cutters - just a simple gold band.
posted by leslies at 12:37 PM on November 8, 2022

Best answer: I just had a surgical procedure yesterday (with general anesthesia; not on my ankle) and asked to keep on an ankle brace I'm wearing as I recover from a broken ankle, but which I could have taken off if they objected. They were fine with that. Obviously YMMV but I bet you'll be able to keep it on.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:43 PM on November 8, 2022

Best answer: Dental floss method
posted by nouvelle-personne at 12:46 PM on November 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding getting your hand nice and cold. I always notice my ring gets noticeably looser when it’s cold out!
posted by peperomia at 1:11 PM on November 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I was allowed to keep a necklace on during surgery (I would have had to cut it off to remove it). I think they just taped it down and that was it. Before you cut your ring, make sure that they absolutely require it to be cut off. It might be a rule that can bend a bit.
posted by quince at 1:19 PM on November 8, 2022

Best answer: I've been asked to remove rings before surgery (gall bladder, cataract), and I told them the rings would not come off. The staff put tape on them to show they were there, and things were fine.
posted by jgirl at 1:24 PM on November 8, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks for all the responses.

Have you tried windex?

Normally I'm a vodka lime guy, but sure...line them up. It's been one of those weeks.

Luckily the medical staff just confirmed that I don't need it off (phew!). I have tried the tricks above many times in the past.......but like an animal in a trap I think my desire to get it off this time went well over my previous pain threshold...and I just got it off!

I went outside and got a nice big bowl of fresh snow (Utah Mountain living for the win!) and kept my pudgy little paw in there *way beyond* my previous attempts. Like way beyond. Like trapped in an avalanche periods of time. I should get an Avy 1 certification just for this effort alone. Being on a frustrating Zoom work call at the same I think allowed me to focus my rage on something other than my hand. I had sprayed my hand with Windex before for kicks.

And then I pulled and twisted and cursed and howled like an angry wolverine (luckily I had muted the Zoom).

And friends, it finally came off. I think I have frost bite now of course, so will probably lose that finger anyway given how things are going. But it's the principle of the thing.

Thanks all!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:34 PM on November 8, 2022 [114 favorites]

Congratulations and wishing you a sound surgery and swift recovery!
posted by Bella Donna at 2:01 PM on November 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

Hope surgery goes well.

It might be worth getting the ring resized, now it's off. It's pretty common to need to do this; knuckles tend to enlarge with age.
posted by humbug at 2:30 PM on November 8, 2022 [7 favorites]

I had this issue when my hands swelled up for medical reasons and I too hurt myself in an effort to get the damn ring off and I am just jumping in here to tell future advice-seekers that it is SO MUCH EASIER to just pay a jeweler $10 and they have a little saw just for this. It took literally three seconds to cut through the damn ring. Zzzip!

Of course then I had a cracked open ring in a bag rather than a ring, but I was fine with it.
posted by Vatnesine at 2:47 PM on November 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That’s right - it must be my knuckles getting larger (*quickly brushes off crumbs on his shirt from the multiple beef empanadas he had for lunch*)

Yeah a resizing will occur before it goes back on for sure…..though I had to stop myself several times midway putting it back on just to see if I can.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 2:54 PM on November 8, 2022 [19 favorites]

Good luck with your surgery tomorrow!
posted by kimberussell at 4:27 PM on November 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

For the future: I had my wedding ring cut off because of allergic swelling and a jeweler fixed it so thoroughly you can’t tell it was cut.
posted by Peach at 5:01 PM on November 8, 2022 [6 favorites]

My father refused to ever remove his wedding ring. He told me nurses just put tape over it to secure it through multiple surgeries.
posted by elphaba at 5:41 AM on November 9, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Out of surgery - dosed up on some of the good stuff. Op went well and in the good hands of Mrs Inflatablekiwi. Thanks again all!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 5:59 PM on November 9, 2022 [8 favorites]

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