Removal of the implant should only be performed under aseptic conditions by a healthcare professional who is familiar with the removal technique. If you are unfamiliar with the removal technique, call 1-844-674-3200 for further information.
Before initiating the removal procedure, the healthcare professional should assess the location of the implant and carefully read the instructions for removal. The exact location of the implant in the arm should be verified by palpation. If the implant is not palpable, consult the User Card or medical record to verify the arm which contains the implant. If the implant cannot be palpated, it may be deeply located or have migrated. Consider that it may lie close to vessels and nerves. Removal of non-palpable implants should only be performed by a healthcare professional experienced in removing deeply placed implants and familiar with localizing the implant and the anatomy of the arm. Call 1-844-674-3200 for further information. [See Localization and Removal of a Non-Palpable Implant, below.]
Procedure for Removal of an Implant that is Palpable
Before removal of the implant, the healthcare professional should confirm that:
- The woman does not have allergies to the antiseptic or anesthetic to be used.
The following equipment is needed for removal of the implant:
- An examination table for the woman to lie on
- Sterile surgical drapes, sterile gloves, antiseptic solution, surgical marker
- Local anesthetic, needles, and syringe
- Sterile scalpel, forceps (straight and curved mosquito)
- Skin closure, sterile gauze, and pressure bandage
For illustrative purposes, Figures depict the left inner arm
Step 1. Have the woman lie on her back on the table. The arm should be positioned with the elbow flexed and the hand underneath the head (or as close as possible). (See Figure 1.)
Step 2. Locate the implant by palpation. Push down the end of the implant closest to the shoulder (Figure 10) to stabilize it; a bulge should appear indicating the tip of the implant that is closest to the elbow. If the tip does not pop up, removal of the implant may be more challenging and should be performed by professionals experienced with removing deeper implants. Call 1-844-674-3200 for further information.
Mark the distal end (end closest to the elbow), for example, with a surgical marker.
|Figure 10 P — Proximal (toward the shoulder)D — Distal (toward the elbow)|
Step 3. Clean the site with an antiseptic solution.
Step 4. Anesthetize the site, for example, with 0.5 to 1 mL 1% lidocaine, where the incision will be made (Figure 11). Be sure to inject the local anesthetic under the implant to keep the implant close to the skin surface. Injection of local anesthetic over the implant may make removal more difficult.
Step 5. Push down the end of the implant closest to the shoulder (Figure 12) to stabilize it throughout the procedure. Starting over the tip of the implant closest to the elbow, make a longitudinal (parallel to the implant) incision of 2 mm towards the elbow. Take care not to cut the tip of the implant.
Step 6. The tip of the implant should pop out of the incision. If it does not, gently push the implant towards the incision until the tip is visible. Grasp the implant with forceps and, if possible, remove the implant (Figure 13). If needed, gently remove adherent tissue from the tip of the implant using blunt dissection. If the implant tip is not exposed following blunt dissection, make an incision into the tissue sheath and then remove the implant with the forceps (Figures 14 and 15).
|Figure 14||Figure 15|
Step 7. If the tip of the implant does not become visible in the incision, insert forceps (preferably curved mosquito forceps, with the tips pointed up) superficially into the incision (Figure 16). Gently grasp the implant and then flip the forceps over into your other hand (Figure 17).
|Figure 16||Figure 17|
Step 8. With a second pair of forceps carefully dissect the tissue around the implant and grasp the implant (Figure 18). The implant can then be removed. If the implant cannot be grasped, stop the procedure and refer the woman to a healthcare professional experienced with complex removals or call 1-844-674-3200.
Step 9. Confirm that the entire implant, which is 4 cm long, has been removed by measuring its length. There have been reports of broken implants while in the patient’s arm. In some cases, difficult removal of the broken implant has been reported. If a partial implant (less than 4 cm) is removed, the remaining piece should be removed by following the instructions in section 2.3. If the woman would like to continue using NEXPLANON, a new implant may be inserted immediately after the old implant is removed using the same incision as long as the site is in the correct location [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)].
Step 10. After removing the implant, close the incision with a sterile adhesive wound closure.
Step 11. Apply a pressure bandage with sterile gauze to minimize bruising. The woman may remove the pressure bandage in 24 hours and the sterile adhesive wound closure in 3 to 5 days.
Localization and Removal of a Non-Palpable Implant
There have been reports of migration of the implant; usually this involves minor movement relative to the original position [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] , but may lead to the implant not being palpable at the location in which it was placed. An implant that has been deeply inserted or has migrated may not be palpable and therefore imaging procedures, as described below, may be required for localization.
A non-palpable implant should always be located prior to attempting removal. Given the radiopaque nature of the implant, suitable methods for localization include two-dimensional X-ray and X-ray computer tomography (CT). Ultrasound scanning (USS) with a high-frequency linear array transducer (10 MHz or greater) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used. Once the implant has been localized in the arm, the implant should be removed by a healthcare professional experienced in removing deeply placed implants and familiar with the anatomy of the arm. The use of ultrasound guidance during the removal should be considered.
If the implant cannot be found in the arm after comprehensive localization attempts, consider applying imaging techniques to the chest as events of migration to the pulmonary vasculature have been reported. If the implant is located in the chest, surgical or endovascular procedures may be needed for removal; healthcare professionals familiar with the anatomy of the chest should be consulted.
If at any time these imaging methods fail to locate the implant, etonogestrel blood level determination can be used for verification of the presence of the implant. For details on etonogestrel blood level determination, call 1-844-674-3200 for further instructions.
If the implant migrates within the arm, removal may require a minor surgical procedure with a larger incision or a surgical procedure in an operating room. Removal of deeply inserted implants should be conducted with caution in order to help prevent injury to deeper neural or vascular structures in the arm. Non-palpable and deeply inserted implants should be removed by healthcare professionals familiar with the anatomy of the arm and removal of deeply-inserted implants.
Exploratory surgery without knowledge of the exact location of the implant is strongly discouraged.
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