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Devices that are placed inside or on the surface of the body in order to replace a missing or damaged body part are called implant devices. Some implant devices may also be used to carry medicines into the body or monitor bodily functions. Some implants may be left permanently in the body while others may be taken out after a specified period of time. An artificial hip or knee is typically left permanently in the body unless a major problem requires “revision,” the removal and replacement of an artificial joint.
Implant devices are made of various materials such as skin, bones, metal, plastic or ceramic. Several parameters and characteristics need to be considered in order to choose which one may be right for you. There remains no consensus on which one is the best choice. This is a decision that has large bearing on both the patient’s characteristics as well as the surgeon’s judgement.
Joint implant devices are manufactured by several different companies. These include:
You should call your doctor immediately. A device is recalled when there is a problem with the device that needs to be fixed or when the device needs to be monitored closely for potential problems. The following links provide information on what you can do if your implant device is recalled.