Contermpoy management of sacral neuromodulation lead fragments and ghost leads

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Am J Obstet Gynecol


Objective: With the advent of MRI compatible Sacral Neuromodulation (SNM) devices coming to market, previous concerns pertaining to patients with implanted devices having contraindications to that imaging modality are slowly being resolved. There remain however, a significant number of patients who presently have, in part or whole, implanted SNM devices. Currently, there is no standardized method of removing intact or fragmented retained SNM leads or “ghost leads”- a term used to describe retained plastic housing and contacts with all filament remnants removed. This video provides a summary of currently published, proposed methods for the removal of retained leads, fragments, and ghost leads while also discussing the method used at our high-volume institution.

Description: A contemporary review of published SNM lead removal methods is demonsrated as well as the method used at our institution.

Conclusion: There are very few published articles describing procedures to safely and efficiently remove various types of retained leads. We believe our technique provides certain advantages over the previously published methods. Removal of intact or fragmented leads or ghost leads may be necessary secondary to an encountered adverse event, the uncertainty of future device complications, or conditions that frequently require MRI patient evaluation. Using our technique, we have been able to remove even the most challenging leads and fragments in their entirety without adverse sequela.





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