Essure Procedure

Essure….Are You Sure?!?!?

Say What

I have recently been introduced to scores of women who have had “not so good” experiences with Essure. They reached out to me via social media to share their side of things and for that I am grateful.

While providing the latest and greatest in medical care is part of my calling…..in order for me to most effectively execute this, I have to be in a place to listen. I have heard their stories and am both sympathetic and empathetic to their trials and tribulations.

I have also heard the alternate side, that being of representatives from Bayer, and their “take” on things.

My job is NEVER to sit in judgement, but to receive “the information” and put myself in a position to make “the most” informed decision. And while my experience with the Essure device has been nothing but positive…..the phrase that continued and continues to pop into my mind regarding “all of this” is the following:

Informed Consent.

Part of informed consent is the physician going over, in great detail, what the procedure involves….

For me, that means laying out, step by step, how the procedure is performed, what said procedure is expected to accomplish, risks that are associated with the procedure, which, in most instances, whether it’s major or minor, tends to involve things such as: bleeding, infection, injury to neighboring organs, risk of further surgery, etc., etc., etc., expected benefits of the procedure, recovery time, and what to expect during recovery.

Many of the concerns that I have heard of late regarding Essure cause me to return to the following questions: Was the patient a good candidate for the procedure? Was informed consent truly obtained?

I like the Essure device. It’s quick, easy, I can perform it in my office……it’s minimally invasive, there’s no cutting involved, no general anesthesia requirement, and the vast majority of my patients have done well.

Here are my TOP 5 Things You Need To Know About Essure:

1. HOW IT WORKS!!!!!! Nickel/Titanium coils are inserted into the tubal ostia(where the fallopian tube joins the uterus). The coils cause an inflammatory reaction leading to scarring in the tubes; this creates the tubal occlusion(blockage).

Three months post placement, a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram is performed in radiology….this basically involves shooting some dye into the uterus under imaging to ensure that the fallopian tubes have been blocked. In the time leading up to this procedure, an alternate form of contraception should be utilized.

2. It’s Non-Hormonal! If you’re worried about the effects that hormones may or may not have on your body….THIS IS HORMONE FREE!

3. It’s Minimally invasive!…..these procedures can be performed in an office setting. We do these in my office.

4. While there’s NOTHING, except for abstinence, that is 100% in preventing pregnancy; It’s pretty darn close! Please know, however, if a pregnancy does occur with Essure in place, the chances that it will be ectopic(or outside the uterus) is increased.

5. It’s Permanent!!!!!! If you aren’t 99.9% sure you are done having children, consider something else that is/can be long acting and is reversible….Like an IUD!

Hoping this blog post has added value to your day! I will continue to have an open ear to all that continue to share their voices and concerns.

Until then,

Look Better. Feel Better. Be Better.

Dr. Angela

All of the information provided in this blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and should not take the place of consulting a physician. Use or receipt of this blog post does not create a doctor/patient relationship between Dr. Angela Jones and you. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure a disease. This information does not and should not replace treatment from a medical professional. If you need medical advice or assistance, you should consult a physician. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, DIAL 911. You should not act, nor should you refrain from acting, on the basis of information included in this blog post without first consulting a licensed medical professional.

About Dr. Angela

Wife, mother, Midwesterner, and award-winning OB/GYN, Dr. Angela is equal parts best girlfriend and bold professional, supporting women’s health with innovative approaches to care and heavy doses of humor. Dr. Angela has done more than launch a successful practice, she has defined herself as a voice for a new generation of womanhood, established her ASK DR. ANGELA brand committed to authenticity, and built a community rooted in trust, candor, and compassion.

Comments
  1. What a disappointing article. You mentioned informed consent being so important but failed to INFORM many things.

    1. In addition to the metals you mentioned, there are chemical PET Fibers that induce acute and chronic inflammation to close the tubes.
    2. It may be non-hormonal but PET Fibers are Endocrine disruptors, which DO cause hormonal issues.
    3. It may be minimally invasive to place but what if you patient has adverse side effects? They then need a hysterectomy majority of the time.
    4. A Yale study (unbiased, not paid for and falsified by the manufacturer) showed Essure has a much higher pregnancy rate than tubal ligations.
    5. It’s permanent…… Until it migrates into your uterus, colon, intestines, etc.

    If you would like to read the unbiased Yale study let me know. I would be more than happy to send it to you.

    1. Hi Angela! Thanks for your response. To call my blog post an article is a bit of a stretch as it was by no means meant to be a tell all on essure. I love that this has been a venue to stir up so much discussion on an issue that is relevant to women.

      Your experience with essure differs from the experiences that I’ve noted in the women that I have placed the device in. I have been very fortunate/blessed in that manner. That’s not to say that essure is perfect…by the looks and sound of it, it’s a far cry from being “just that”.

      Essure is an option, one of many.

      I am glad that there are women out there that are willing to share their point of view as well as experiences with this product. Knowledge is power.

      Thank you again for sharing.

  2. Hi Dr Angela. Is there informed consent about the potential effects on long term Plan of action if these coils do migrate? How these PET fibers will effect you long term if that happens? Plan of action for fragmented essure? I would like to know the plan for when this happens. What are Dr’s being taught about how to handle the complications? What informed consent told women the
    failure rate to place the devices correctly? What about informed consent? Informed Consent would include ALL of the information not just what sells the product. What long term studies are done with specifically PET and Essure?
    How can one give informed consent if the long term data isn’t there yet? Even if they have any data by now isn’t it redacted from not only the public but also the Dr’s who use the product?
    1.
    permission granted in the knowledge of the possible consequences, typically that which is given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with full knowledge of the possible risks and benefits. Thanks and all for your help. We need Dr’s willing to face these issues. Not turn their backs.

    1. Hi Cecilia! First of all, thank you for responding. This is one of the few responses that I’ve received where I don’t feel as if I’m being attacked(smile). The post was by no means intended to be a fact check on all there is to know about Essure. In all of this, it comes down to our experiences; you and other women’s experience with essure, and my experience with essure from a physician’s standpoint. I have been fortunate enough that I haven’t encountered any of the side effects, or other “issues” noted in my patient population. That is not to say that these things don’t exist, just that it has not been my personal experience. I think that in deciding to have any procedure, women should be aware of all potential consequences, side effects, etc. It is the physicians responsibility to review the good, bad, and dare I say ugly…Luckily, there are groups of women out there that have been vocal in sharing their experience with this product. I will continue to keep my eyes and ears open. Have a great day!

  3. Exactly Dr Angela.. We would like to see Dr’s Pay attention to what is happening to women from an adverse event standpoint. Even if it isn’t happening on your watch, this is something Dr’s need to be talking about among each other so you are prepared to handle these complications. Also among the public articles & Blogs so women know the whole picture before they make this life long choice. Thanks We are simply trying to raise awareness in the medical professional area.

What do you think?