Phase retrieval tomography has been successfully used to enhance imaging in systems that exhibit poor absorption contrast. However, when highly absorbing regions are present in a sample, so-called metal artefacts can appear in the tomographic reconstruction. We demonstrate that straightforward approaches for metal artefact reconstruction, developed in absorption contrast tomography, can be applied when using phase retrieval. Using a prototype thin film cochlear implant that has high and low absorption components made from iridium (or platinum) and plastic, respectively, we show that segmentation of the various components is possible and hence measurement of the electrode geometry and relative location to other regions of interest can be achieved. 2012 American Institute of Physics.