How is the patient positioned for contraceptive implant placement?

Updated: Jan 29, 2018
  • Author: Megan Brady Shannon, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Answer

The medial side of the upper nondominant arm should be exposed to the practitioner. This is best accomplished by having the patient lie on her back on an examination table with her arm flexed at her side so her hand lies near her head, palm facing the ceiling (see image below).

Patient's wrist is parallel to her ear or her hand Patient's wrist is parallel to her ear or her hand is positioned next to her head.

The implant should be inserted 8 -10 cm (3-4 inches) above the medial epicondyle of the humerus. It should be inserted subdermally, avoiding the sulcus between the biceps and triceps muscles, which contains a neurovascular bundle. Some practitioners like to mark the approximate insertion site, as well as a few centimeters proximal to that as a guiding mark. When actually inserting the needle, do not place the needle directly through this marking to avoid tattooing of the skin.


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