Difficult implant removals

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Dec;29(6):449-457. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000416.


Purpose of review: Subdermal contraceptive implant insertions have rapidly increased worldwide. These devices are usually removed 3-5 years after insertion. Although removals are generally straightforward, difficult removals can occur. This review discusses the overall approach to potentially problematic removals and the appropriate steps to avoid complications and safely remove implants.

Recent findings: Given the rapid uptake of contraceptive implants and subsequent need for removals, an Implants Removal Task Force was formed to create standard protocols for difficult implant removals worldwide. These protocols detail how to identify a nonpalpable implant and the subsequent steps needed for safe removals that avoid vascular or neurological complications.

Summary: Rapid uptake of subdermal implants has created a need for a comprehensive approach in the unlikely setting of a difficult implant removal. Standard protocols now exist to aid clinicians in the safe removal of these implants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees
  • Arm / surgery
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Device Removal / methods*
  • Device Removal / standards
  • Drug Implants*
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraception / adverse effects*


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Drug Implants