Essure Birth Control Removal and Reversal
During Essure removal or reversal, surgeons may perform a salpingotomy, which involves making a small cut in each fallopian tube to remove the Essure coils, or a complete hysterectomy. Some women have had Essure removed because they suffered serious side effects. The procedure may cost up to $8,000 and is covered by most insurance plans.
Bayer’s Essure birth control is permanent female sterilization. But, women may have Essure removed.
Some women may reverse the procedure to have a child naturally. Others may need to remove Essure coils if they suffer serious Essure side effects.
Procedures to remove Essure can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000. The cost varies depending on the severity of side effects and type of surgery.
Most insurance plans should cover Essure removal. Patients should verify with their insurance provider.
Women who say Essure injured them filed Essure lawsuits against Bayer. Essure lawsuits say the birth control device is difficult to remove and may lead to several surgeries.
Diagnosing Essure Problems
Not all doctors are familiar with Essure and the problems it may cause. Symptoms of Essure problems range from chronic pelvic pain to hair loss. Common Essure symptoms include pain, infections and excessive vaginal bleeding.
It is important to find a gynecologist, urogynecologist or pelvic surgery specialist who has experience with Essure.
Essure Removal Options
Women who wish to remove Essure have a few surgical options. Surgery can range from a simple outpatient procedure to a hysterectomy.Sometimes, women may need to have more than one surgery.
Essure embeds in scar tissue. This makes it more challenging to remove. Surgeons will use X-rays, ultrasounds or scopes to locate the device in the fallopian tube before surgery.
A salpingotomy is a technique where surgeons cut a small hole in the fallopian tube to remove the Essure coils. Surgeons leave the tubes intact.
This is not to be confused with salpingectomy. Salpingectomy is total removal of fallopian tubes.
In Bayer’s Physician Training Manual, the company recommends using salpingotomy, salpingectomy or cornual resection to remove the device. Cornual resection removes part of the uterus.
How Salpingotomy Works
Bayer’s insert instructs physicians to make a small cut in the tube. The cut should be about 2 cm in length. It should be directly above the device. Doctors then remove the device through this opening.
In order to reach the fallopian tubes, surgeons enter the body through the abdomen using laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive technique performed with tiny incisions in the abdomen.
- Not a preferred technique for most doctors.
- Few surgeons have experience with making incisions in fallopian tubes.
- Essure coils can fracture if surgeons pull them too hard.
- Essure fragments may remain in the tubes.
Women who have Essure removed may end up undergoing a hysterectomy.
During a hysterectomy, surgeons remove the uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix. Some surgeons maintain that this minimizes the risk of leaving fragments in the body.
Surgeons can perform hysterectomies through the abdomen with laparoscopic surgery. Or they can perform surgery through the vagina.
Some studies show laparoscopic surgeries allow for quicker healing times and less blood loss.
- Some surgeons may use a power morcellator to perform hysterectomy. Morcellators may spread undiagnosed uterine cancer.
- Hysterectomies increase the future risk of pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and some cancers.
- Organ damage during surgery.
- Infection is the most common complication of hysterectomy.
Uterine Preserving Surgery
Women who want or need Essure removed may choose to keep their uterus. This may cause fewer complications and allows them to conceive a child naturally.
In these cases, surgeons can perform a tubal anastomosis. Surgeons carefully dissect the fallopian tubes, remove Essure and reconnect the tubes to the uterus. This allows women to reverse sterilization and conceive naturally.
In some cases, doctors can perform Essure removal on an outpatient basis.
- Women who wish to get pregnant may not be able to.
- Scar tissue may develop in the fallopian tubes.
- Nearby organs may be injured.
- Women may have a 4 to 8 percent chance of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus).
Recovery from Essure Removal
Recovery times depend on the Essure removal technique and how long the device was in the body. Outpatient procedures allow women to go home the same day.
More extensive surgery such as a hysterectomy will require a longer recovery time that may last weeks. Women who had an outpatient procedure can expect to feel relief from symptoms within days.
“Once [Essure] is removed, women may expect to recover within two weeks.”
Complications from the procedure may lengthen recovery time. Complications include infection and organ damage. Leftover pieces of metal or fibers from Essure may also cause problems.
Women should follow up with their doctor to make sure they are healing well after Essure removal surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I should have my Essure removed?
The decision to have your Essure removed is a personal one. Some women have chosen Essure removal or reversal after experiencing side effects such as organ perforation, bleeding and pelvic pain caused by the device. Consult with a health care professional who has experience with Essure before making your decision.
What are the long-term side effects associated with Essure?
Long-term side effects or problems reported in Essure clinical trials include chronic pain, device migration into the abdomen or pelvis and autoimmune disorders. If you or your doctor decide to remove Essure, you may need additional surgery.
Why did Bayer stop selling Essure?
In 2018, Bayer announced it would stop selling Essure because of a decline in sales. Critics, however, point out that thousands of women have continued to report serious side effects caused by the device. Essure lawsuits claim Bayer failed to warn the public of these serious side effects.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.