European perspective on lead extraction: Part IIIf manual extraction is not successful, a locking stylet is used after the inner lumen is reamed using another stylet to remove debris. Use of a locking stylet with a very flexible tip is essential so that a tortuous lead can be negotiated. Equally important is locking the stylet as close as possible to the lead tip and not allowing the stylet to slip during the procedure. The risk of severing the sometimes fragile interpolar section of encapsulated bipolar leads is high if a positive lock close to the lead tip cannot be achieved.
A European perspective on lead extraction: Part IThe need for lead extraction has increased exponentially in the last decade due to greatly increased “total lead exposure time.” The increased total lead exposure time is the result of new indications for device treatment, device therapy involving more leads per patient, and longer average patient life. Improved general lead reliability noted over recent years may have decreased slightly the need for extraction; however, this effect is more than countered by recent advisories, recalls, and increased complication rates, probably related to many new centers offering device treatment.