The doc that put the chip in my right hand in June 2005 tried to remove it 4 months later so we could swap it. He dug around in there for 20 minutes trying to get at it, but the problem for a doc is that these chips are fragile glass things you can’t just grip with forceps and yank out like any other foreign object. That means they have to be coaxed out, and only after carefully cutting open the collagen encapsulation pouch they end up inside of… and that stuff is unforgiving. If you have only two hands, this is actually quite difficult.
It wasn’t until I put a glove on and positioned the tag myself with a pincer move (shown in the video linked above) that he was able to actually make the cut in the collagen pouch and the tag basically shot right out because of the pressure I was putting on it myself with my gloved hand. This all took about 15 seconds from the time I started assisting until it was out. Without assisting in this way, I can definitely confirm it’s difficult. I attempted a removal procedure on a friend of mine, and it was a bloody mess. They were unable to assist because of their aversion to blood, so I had to sort of pressure the chip myself and then wield a scalpel one handed through an incision to make it happen… a lot of jabbing and stabbing later, the chip popped out… but it was a bloodbath, and I decided right there that removals were not something I would ever do again.
So… like just about everything… removing an x-series is easy if you do it the right way… if you don’t, then it’s not easy at all. A flex is much easier to remove because you can just grab the thing and yank it out.