Chronic pain, heavier periods, headaches — these are just a few of the long-term side effects that some women are facing after getting the Essure® device. If you find yourself struggling with serious quality-of-life issues after having the Essure device implanted, removal may be the best option for bringing you relief.
Just as many problems stemmed from poor implantation of the device, removing your Essure can be tricky, too, which is why you should seek the expertise of a women’s health expert who has extensive experience in this arena.
Here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley, our own Dr. Fernando Otero is such a medical expert, and he’s helped scores of women regain their quality of life by successfully removing their Essure devices.
The side effects of Essure
When Essure was first introduced in 2002, gynecologists were understandably excited by the prospect of a permanent birth control option for women that didn’t require surgery. With Essure, a metal and fiber coil was placed in each of the fallopian tubes during an in-office procedure that lasted about an hour.
Once in place, the Essure coils caused scar tissue to grow around these devices, preventing sperm from reaching the eggs.
While Essure worked quite well for many women, some developed long-term side effects that posed considerable quality-of-life problems.
According to reports filed with the FDA, the primary complaints — starting with the most common and ending with the least reported — are:
- Abdominal and pelvic pain
- Device fragments
- Weight fluctuations
- Depression and anxiety
- Hair loss
There were several issues that led to these side effects, including reactions to the metal, migration of the device, poor placement, and device breakage.
As a result of these issues, Essure was pulled from the American market in 2019.
Removing your Essure device
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we outline above and you believe they may be tied to Essure, it’s important that you come see us for an evaluation. If we confirm your suspicions, the next step is figuring out the best way to remove your Essure devices, especially if they’ve migrated or broken into pieces.
The major risk in removing your Essure coils is that they break into even smaller pieces, which can cause larger health problems than you’re already facing.
This is where Dr. Otero’s experience comes in. After first assessing the location and integrity of the coils, he devises a removal plan that best suits your situation.
In a best case scenario, Dr. Otero can use a hysteroscope, which he inserts through your vagina, to remove the devices from your fallopian tubes.
If your Essure devices are even remotely unstable, Dr. Otero may opt to perform a salpingotomy, a procedure in which he makes tiny incisions in your fallopian tubes to remove the coils. If the devices are at risk for breaking, Dr. Otero may recommend removing your fallopian tubes altogether.
Another approach is a cornual resection, in which Dr. Otero laparoscopically removes a portion of your uterus.
Whatever approach we recommend, know that it comes from experience and places your safety above all else.
If you’d like to explore your options for removing your Essure devices, please contact one of our office in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas.