From Implants to Explants, and Beyond

Courtesy of USIOL Inc.Intraocular lenses are among the implantable devices gaining popularity. From intraocular lenses to heart pacemakers, artificial joints, and even dental fillings, an estimated 8-10 percent of Americans walk around with permanent medical implants. These devices--which penetrate living tissue, have a physiological interaction and a minimum lifespan of three months, and are retrievable--have been widely used since the 1960s. But there has never been any systematic effort for r

A. J. S. Rayl
Mar 5, 2000

Courtesy of USIOL Inc.

Intraocular lenses are among the implantable devices gaining popularity.
From intraocular lenses to heart pacemakers, artificial joints, and even dental fillings, an estimated 8-10 percent of Americans walk around with permanent medical implants. These devices--which penetrate living tissue, have a physiological interaction and a minimum lifespan of three months, and are retrievable--have been widely used since the 1960s. But there has never been any systematic effort for retrieval, analysis, and data banking. Consequently, there is a paucity of research information on most medical implants in the United States. "Systematic analysis is done everywhere in the world except here," proclaims John T. Watson, acting deputy director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

"The primary objective [of the field] is to try to get better and better implants, and the best way to do that is to retrieve and study them," explains Edward N....

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