I have been experiencing many of the symptoms associated with the Essure birth control device, what are the first steps I should take to have my problems corrected?
Ultimately and more importantly you need to find a physician that understands you and the device. You want someone that is going to support you through the process, not someone that doesn’t believe your symptoms and believe me, there are many doctors out there that don’t think Essure causes issues. I would recommend contacting me directly through my Private Facebook page to see if there is a doctor in your area that is recommended.
How do you determine what happened to the device and why it’s causing the complications I have been experiencing, will it be invasive and painful?
It’s really just taking a history and then doing a proper pelvic exam which I think should also include a hormone evaluation and x-ray to locate the coils
If you determine that there is a problem with the Essure device and that it is causing my symptoms, what will be my options to have the problems corrected?
Removal is based on your symptoms and how you wish to proceed. The two methods I recommend are total laparoscopic hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingectomy (removal of tubes, uterus, and cervix in one piece) or Bilateral salpingectomy and partial cornuectomy (removal of tubes and the corner aspect of the uterus). The latter procedure needs someone who has done at least 30 of these cases and knows how to do them correctly.
Will removal surgery be required?
What is the name of the procedure?
What happens if the device is determined to be unable to remove?
There is no reason that the device cannot be removed. With proper workup, even those devices that are located outside of the uterus and free-floating in the abdomen can be removed safely
After the removal procedure, how long will it take for me to return to work?
This varies widely on the patient, the type of procedure performed, and the type of work you do. The incisions are the same for either removal procedure and as such the time to recovery is relatively similar.
The salpingectomy and partial corpectomy can see women back to work in a week or so depending on the above-mentioned factors whereas the hysterectomy is more like 2-3 weeks. Keep in mind the complete healing is not present for about 4-6 weeks but returning to work can be done sooner
Have you heard of anyone becoming pregnant after the device is removed, how does that work if it was placed to prevent pregnancy?
With the salpingectomy (removal of tubes) the chances of getting pregnant are 1/1000
Will I need to perform physical therapy after the procedure to strengthen my muscles and be able to function properly?
Physical therapy is usually not needed after surgery
What are my chances for a successful removal surgery so that I can return to my normal life?
Depends on your definition of normal and what you were prior to the insertion and how severe your symptoms are but I have seen many many women return to wonderfully fun and productive lives after removal
Will I suffer any long-term consequences after the removal surgery, what are the risks?
Typical risks with surgery are an infection, blood loss, anesthesia, damage to bladder or bowel. There is a small risk of pelvic floor issues and incontinence after hysterectomy but this is also confounded by age, weight, genetics, job, vaginal deliveries, smoking, and other factors
Are there different types of removal procedures?
Bayer currently recommends the following methods of removal as acceptable.
Hysterectomy – I personally only advocate laparoscopic hysterectomy. A recent study in France stated that vaginal hysterectomy was acceptable but they only had 26 patients in the study and they didn’t do postoperative x rays so I am not sure how they know they didn’t have retained fragments and they also had a complication rate of about 10%.
Salpingostomy – cutting open the tube and pulling out the device. NO WAY! This will cause fragmentation of the device and potential issues with leaving things behind.
Salpingectomy – cutting the tube off the uterus and trying to find the uterine segment and pulling it out. Potentially cutting the coils is never acceptable and neither is this procedure.
Hysteroscopic removal – using the same approach as insertion and going inside the uterus and removing the coils by pulling. Obviously, this should never be done.
Salpingectomy with partial cornuectomy – the only method I advocate but there are many nuances like pre and intraoperative x-rays that need to be done as well.
Will I have to have a hysterectomy and have my uterus removed or can only my fallopian tubes be removed?
I have been suffering a lot of bleeding for a long time, what might be the Essure cause of this problem?
It is very difficult to ascertain if the Essure is a direct cause of the problem or if it is simply a correlation effect. This is a symptom that I do see in many patients
I have been having pain, headaches, etc…. , how do you determine that the Essure device might be causing the problems if it is not broken and is still in place?
Why am I suffering from hair loss, brain fog, depression (possible other weird complications) from the device?
Many of the chemicals and compounds used in the Essure are known to cause endocrine disruption. This means they can either mimic hormones or interfere with the way the brain talks to the ovaries. I believe that this neuroendocrine disruption is cause for many of the symptoms listed above
What do you do if I’m now pregnant and the Essure device is determined to be broken?
Once pregnant regardless if the device is broken or intact there is nothing that can be done but treats the pregnancy as high risk
Will the removal of my organs cause me any disability or inability to function in my daily life?
I discussed prolapse above but other than that the answer is no. Actually many women feel as though life is improved because their pain and discomfort is gone which makes things like sex and daily life more enjoyable
How will the bleeding and other symptoms stop after the corrective procedure?
Unfortunately, there is no scientific way to answer this question
Will my insurance cover the procedure, what do I do if I don’t have health insurance that covers the procedure?
I have done close to 600 procedures and they are all covered by insurance. Obviously, they go towards the deductible and subject to copay and the issues with your separate policy.
Shawn Tassone, MD Ph.D. is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist. In 2013 he stopped inserting Essure as he was seeing women around the country discussing the side effects of the device they had since insertion. He began removing the devices and has no removed close to 600 devices safely and has developed the Tassone Method of Salpingectomy which removes the Essure device without hysterectomy.
He is a women’s health advocate and has been in front of the FDA discussing the issues he has seen. He is the only physician in the country using the procedure and taking all forms of insurance including Medicaid because he believes every woman should have access to removal.
He is currently in the process of training doctors and as this network grows you can have an experienced doctor remove these. https://www.facebook.com/groups/371089823270815. You can also contact his office directly and speak to his assistant Maddie by calling 512-970-6557