Woman faces open-heart surgery from wrongly implanted contraceptive


Two years ago, a young woman underwent a routine insertion of the contraceptive Implanon at a women’s health clinic in Victoria, Australia. However, in the months that followed, she began experiencing alarming symptoms such as rapid heartbeats, excessive sweating, and heartburn, signaling that something was amiss.

Doctors investigated the cause of her illness and discovered it was linked to the implanted contraceptive. They attempted to remove it, but encountered a problem – they couldn’t locate it. Further examination through a CT scan revealed that the tiny plastic rod, measuring about 3.5 centimeters, had lodged itself in her pulmonary artery.

What is Implanon?

Implanon is a small plastic rod that is placed under the skin of the upper arm to prevent pregnancy. It releases progestogen, a hormone that inhibits ovulation, thickens the cervix lining, and reduces receptivity to fertilized eggs.

This contraceptive method offers protection for up to three years and is highly effective, with a success rate exceeding 99%. Consequently, Implanon is one of the most popular contraceptive options available.

Now, the woman is faced with the daunting prospect of surgery to remove the plastic rod at a cardiac hospital in Clayton, Australia. This procedure has never been performed before, making its full extent unknown until the operation commences.

Open-heart surgery

The woman shared her story in an interview with Australia’s Channel 7. She said that it may even be classified as open-heart surgery.

The operation is anticipated to last approximately five hours, followed by a three-day stay in intensive care, and a two-month recovery period.

While this is an infrequent occurrence, it highlights the importance of discussing potential risks with a gynecologist and exploring suitable contraceptive options.

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