Woman, 31, Undergoes Surgery To Remove Contraceptive Implant From Her Lung
A woman was rushed to the operating theatre after doctors discovered that her contraceptive implant had somehow made its way into her lung.
The 31-year-old woman from Portugal told doctors she had been suffering from abnormal bleeding from the vagina and had to undergo emergency surgery to remove the implant.
According to reports, she had been using it for the past eight years, but over the previous three months, had noticed some bleeding.
When doctors failed to find the implant (the small rod can usually be felt in the upper arm) they carried out a CT scan which showed that it had travelled to her chest and was sat at the bottom of her left lung.
The extremely rare case was reported by doctors in the gynaecological department of the hospital in Viana do Castelo, just north of Porto.
In the doctors' report - which was published in the journal BMJ Case Reports - they claimed the implant may have fallen out of place and into the woman's arteries and veins.
It said: "Risk factors for [implant] migration are placement technique - if introduced deeply migration can occur into the venous system and then to the pulmonary arterial system.
"And the practice of vigorous physical exercise after correct placement, which seems to increase the risk of vascular migration."
Fortunately, the operation was a success and the woman was able to go home a few days later.
The report goes on: "The patient was discharged four days later. At the postoperative visit, she had no complaints and had normal operative wound healing; chest radiography was normal."
But while they are rare, this is not the first time a similar case has been reported.
Speaking to the MailOnline, experts said it's vital that women check their implants regularly to make sure they are still in place.
Dr Tania Adib, a consultant gynaecologist at the Kensington Medical Chambers, said: "The risk of the contraceptive implant travelling is extremely low.
"Risk is higher if it is't placed beneath the skin properly e.g. it is placed too deeply.
"The risk is higher in women who are very thin and those who are placing the implants should have specific training in how to insert them properly to reduce the risk.
"Women should also check their arms regularly to ensure they can feel the implant and if they can no longer feel it they should check this."
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