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Extracted medical implants: Are they medical waste?

What happens once they’re removed?

Medical implants, including devices and those use to enhance the body cosmetically, are quite common today. Many devices, such as a stent or an implant used to replace a failed body part, are medically essential, while others, including breast implants, are inserted into the body to alter a person’s appearance. Once implanted, these items become part of the body, surrounded by blood, or tissue or both. So what happens when an implant is extracted?

Medical Waste Classification

There are many different types of implants, some are made from skin, bone or other body tissues.  Others are made from metal, plastic, ceramic or other materials. Implants can be permanent or they can be removed once they are no longer needed. For example, stents or hip implants are meant to stay inside the body for the remainder of the person’s life. While, others, including chemotherapy ports or screws to repair broken bones, can be removed when they are no longer needed.

No matter what kind of material the implant is made of or where it existed inside the body, all implants, once extracted, are treated as medical waste. Because they contain blood or other bodily fluids and matter, they must never be disposed of with municipal trash. Surgical centers and other similar facilities are required to dispose of these items safely and within the required compliance regulations. If not, they can pose a risk of contamination.

Disposal process

Implants that have been extracted from the body must first be sent to pathology to be tested and cleansed and then they must be segregated into the proper medical waste disposal container. Depending on the item, they are either placed inside a biomedical waste red bag or within a sealed FDA approved waste container. After, these items must be processed for disposal by a certified medical waste provider to be safely and permanently destroyed.

Whether you’re a member of a hospital surgical team or a surgical center, or any other facility that performs implant extractions, it is crucial to ensure that you treat each implant properly to prevent accidental exposure as a result of improper disposal.

For all of your medical waste disposal needs, turn to us at All Points Medical Waste. We provide disposal services to clients across the Treasure Coast as well as in Okeechobee, Indian River, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties. Give us a call today or fill out a quote request to learn more about how we can serve you.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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