IMPORTANT: Providers must not refuse or delay when a woman asks to have her implants removed, whatever her reason, whether it is personal or medical. All staff must understand and agree that she must not be pressured or forced to continue using implants. If the implants may be difficult to remove, a provider with the necessary skills should be available. Removals should be provided free of charge if possible. 

Explaining the Removal Procedure

A woman needs to know what will happen during removal. The following description can help explain the procedure to her. The same removal procedure is used for all types of implants.

1. The provider uses proper infection-prevention procedures.

2. The provider marks the location of the implant.

3. The woman receives an injection of local anesthetic under the skin of her arm at the incision site to prevent pain during implant removal. This injection may sting. She stays fully awake throughout the procedure.

4. The health care provider makes a small incision in the skin near the site of insertion.

5. With the fingers, the provider pushes the implant toward the incision and then uses forceps to pull out the implant. A woman may feel tugging, slight pain, or soreness during the procedure and for a few days after.

6. The provider closes the incision with an adhesive bandage. Stitches are not needed. An elastic bandage may be placed over the adhesive bandage to apply gentle pressure for 2 or 3 days and keep down swelling.

The provider should ask whether the woman wants to continue preventing pregnancy and discuss her options. If she wants new implants, they are placed above or below the site of the previous implants or in the other arm.