What Happens to Implants Once They’re Removed?

Once implants are no longer needed and removed, discarding them becomes a medical waste procedure.

Medical implants fall into a few different categories – from tissues to devices –  that are placed inside the body and could be bioactive or made of biomedical material. They are both essential for patients and in some cases a cosmetic commodity.

Based on its intended purpose, an implant could be used for drug delivery with an implanted stent or to support a biological structure when a limb is damaged, for example.

Once they are no longer needed, implant removal becomes a medical waste procedure.

Whether the patient is living, or someone has been deceased, the implant is removed and processed for disposal. The steps taken at this point are a very important part of the process.

In most cases, implants are sent to a pathology department for inspection and/or cleaning and they are either sent back or put in a proper waste container.

Since the implants are no longer being used and were at one point inside of someone’s body, they are typically treated as biomedical waste and must follow the strict steps in place for disposal of that type of waste.

Since implants contain blood or other bodily matter, they cannot be mixed in with general municipal waste. In most cases, they would be discarded in a red bag to maintain waste segregation and once processed, the final step is incineration. To maintain compliance with federal law, working with a medical waste disposal company is important.

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