Removing a dexcom transmitter

What is the trick for removing a dexcom transmittor from the sensor while still on my belly? I always have a hard time getting it off of the sensor even when it is not attached to me.

I got it off, but even with the tool it isn’t easy. Thank you

We don’t use the tool. We just pull the two tabs out and it comes out fairly easily.

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Tabs on the skinny or fat end?

I pull them apart on the fat end. Squeezing the skinny end is probably more recommended, but not as effective.

@Tim35 makes a good point about being careful not to break the tabs. I’m probably not as careful as I should be. Have never had a tab break, but I should be more aware of that.

There’s a tool?!

Since I wear my dexcom on my arm, I have gotten good at popping the transmitter out with one hand. I just pull off each tab on the fat end one at a time.

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There are two reasons that I can think of to remove the transmitter while you are still wearing it. First, you need to replace the transmitter as it has expired but don’t want to change your sensor. This could be mostly avoided by proper timing and only occurs every three months anyway.

The other reason is that you are doing a “hot swap” and are trying to evade the two hour warmup. In this case, while removing the transmitter while still on your body might seem efficient I have found that a different sequence works just as fast. Insert your new sensor, rip off the old sensor and quickly take the transmitter off. Once you get the old sensor/transmitter off your body it is easy to use the tool (on a hard flat surface) or to use your fingers to get the transmitter off.

Am I missing something? Why else would you want to get the transmitter off the sensor while it is still on your body?

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Yes I had just replaced a sensor and had never replaced a transmitter yet. I was hoping to get more time out of it like I do the sensors. I was able to remove the transmitter while it was on my body and put on the new transmittor. Up and going … and still learning.

Impressive

I just thought I’d add an image so that everyone understands the correct terms and what others are referring to. From the G4 User Guide, G5 uses same sensor and applicator.

Two tabs that hold the sensor in place are called “release tabs” and their location is depicted above. There is one tab symmetrically positioned on each side of the transmitter. The “safety lock” doubles as an optional transmitter removal too. From the user guide:

  1. Save the safety lock to help you remove the transmitter at the end of your sensor session. The safety lock can be used for transmitter removal but is not required.
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I’m an unusual case, but I do MRI-research (haven’t been since I got my Dex, but should be starting up again within about 6 months). Can’t bring the transmitter near the magnet, but the sensor would be fine in terms of not turning into a projectile. I’m hoping it doesn’t impact its functionality (only one way to find out), otherwise I’m going to start going through them way too quickly. I’ll report back once I do that test. That’s a real bummer though about the Dex 6 system, since it probably means I won’t be able to upgrade to it…

I had the same thought. My CGM sites are not usually in a direct line of sight, so I try to use a mirror. The mirror, however, is a challenge for my brain as directional movement is reversed. I think practice doing it by feel alone is probably more fruitful.

With all this manipulation extracting and remounting the transmitter, it’s probably a good idea to assess the adhesion of the transmitter pod bandage to the skin. I think the sub-q sensor tip does not like being moved. Adding some extra tape might be a good idea here before extracting and then reseating a transmitter.

The tip I was given by Dexcom support is to put the tool in over the “E” in the Dexcom label on the Xmitter., then it comes off easily. I don’t know why this isn’t in the manual.

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I work around MRI machines as well, I’m an assistant to the techs. I am waiting to receive my dexcom as soon as I do I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Nice! Yes, please do!

I’m still annoyed if the upcoming G6 is not going to allow you to remove the transmitter without removing the sensor—that’s going to be a big deal breaker for people who deal with MRIs regularly or anything else where you need brief breaks from the transmitter.

I have the G5 and you can remove the transmitter without removing the sensor

Yes, the G4 and G5 allow the transmitter to be removed without any damage to the sensor. We do this if we get question marks after a shower and clean both surfaces with alcohol, let it dry then put the transmitter back in place.

However the User Manual from the G6 as publicly posted and available from the FCC site clearly states that the (not yet approved or available) G6 transmitter will have a number of design changes with one of them being the inability to remove the transmitter without breaking the sensor.

(The Dexcom receives not only FDA approval but also FCC approval.)

Certainly there could be some tweaking of a product between the period of submission for approval and released for retail use. However there are practical limits to the extent of such tweaking that would be possible.

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Oh really? Ugh that’s frustrating. Hopefully I can continue getting the G5 for a few more years until I’m done with school!

Hopefully the FDA will soon approve the Tandem t:slim X2 to be integrated with the Dexcom G5.
I assume one side effect would be to extend the life of the G5 at that point. Realistically, how could Dexcom pull the G5 from the market when a partner needs it?

I wonder is this perhaps one of the reasons why the G4 is still on the market? Because it is integrated into a pump?

Pure guesswork.

Okay, so. I worked a 12 hour shift yesterday and disconnected the transmitter. I reconnected when my shift was over and everything was fine! The only thing is it has to “warm up” again for 2 hours as if it’s a brand new sensor. But didn’t affect my readings or accuracy at all! Also a tip I came up with for removing is definitely use the tool it makes it so easy. With that being said, it’s extremely difficult to just do it on your skin because obviously your skin moves and squishes down. What I did was took a debit card and put it on the fat end where I was pushing down with the tool to give some stability and it came right off no problem! Hope this helps :slight_smile: