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Medical implants are devices used to replace a missing biological structure, support a damaged biological structure, or enhance an existing biological structure. They can be either placed permanently or removed once they are no longer needed. For example, hip implants are permanent, while chemotherapy ports can be removed when they no longer needed.
While medical implants help extend and improve quality of life, they can carry some risks. These include surgical risks during placement or removal, infection, implant failure, or reactions to the materials used in implants. Now let's have a look at some of the most implanted medical devices.
It is a small battery-powered device placed under the skin in the chest to help manage irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. Heart rhythm problems may decrease blood flow in your brain and body. This in turn can cause heart palpitation, dizziness, fainting or even death.
An ICD can perform cardioversion, defibrillation, and pacing of the heart. It monitors your heartbeat and delivers electrical pulses to restore a normal heart rhythm when necessary.
Degenerative osteoarthritis, also called wear-or-tear arthritis, causes joint damage, stiffness, and pain. During hip replacement, a surgeon removes the damaged hip joint and replaces with artificial joint (prosthesis). This helps reduce pain and improve mobility. Artificial hips are usually constructed of metal, ceramic and very hard plastic.
Also referred to as cardiac stent, this implant is used to treat narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. It is a tube-shaped device placed in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, to keep the arteries open. Coronary stent is also used to improve blood flow immediately following a heart attack.
The implantable insulin pump is surgically implanted under the skin to deliver insulin into the peritoneal cavity. As the peritoneal cavity has a rich supply of blood vessels, it can absorb insulin very efficiently. The insulin then easily reaches the liver the normal destination for insulin.
Intraocular lens (IOL) is a tiny, artificial lens implanted in the eye as part of a treatment for cataracts or myopia. These are also used for a type of vision correction surgery called refractive lens exchange. There are different types of interocular lenses. A pseudophakic IOL is a lens implanted during cataract surgery after the natural lens has been removed. A phakic intraocular lens (PIOL), on the other hand, is used as a treatment for myopia (nearsightedness). It is placed over the existing natural lens during refractive surgery to change the eye's optical power. The implantation can be done under local anesthesia.
These are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums.
A dental implant is essentially a titanium screw or cylinder, between 8 and 16 mm long. It serves as a replacement root for the missing tooth. This artificial tooth root can support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis or act as an orthodontic anchor.
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