Conditions & Procedures Essure® Permanent Birth Control: What is the Truth?

Essure® Permanent Birth Control: What is the Truth?

If you are looking for permanent birth control, Essure is a proven non-incisional procedure for permanent birth control for women. It is an alternative to incisional tubal ligation (tying of tubes) that can be performed without general anesthesia or the use of hormones. The Essure procedure places a soft micro-insert into the fallopian tube with the use of a small camera in the uterus (hysteroscope). Once in place, the device is designed to work with the body to form a permanent barrier against pregnancy.

Dr. Amy Garcia was awarded the title of Essure Acredited physician in 2006.  She is an Essure preceptor who teaches other physicians how to perform the Essure. She was the first gynecologist in our region to perform the Essure procedure in the office.

Controversy about Essure

The Internet is full of complaint blogs written by women who are extremely unsatisfied with their Essure experiences.  We are deeply troubled by this situation. The Center for Women’s Surgery has launched a project to reach out to our patients for whom we have performed Essure.  Our goal is to find out if our patients have encountered problems that might be related to the procedure.  To date, our patient satisfaction rate is extremely high, with women reporting that they are very happy with their Essure experience, but our follow-up project is not complete.  At this time, we believe that for most women, Essure is the superior method of permanent birth control when the procedure is performed by a highly trained surgical gynecologist.  

Why then are so many women around the country having negative Essure experiences?  After training hundreds of physicians around the nation, Dr. Garcia became concerned that many gynecologists do not have adequate hysteroscopic surgical skills to safely and successfully perform Essure.  While the actual data has not been published, our experience suggests that a significant percentage of Essure procedures are performed improperly and that this likely is the cause of the public outcry about Essure.  Our wide experience with Essure has led us to understand that Essure is not right for every woman.  We have begun to understand some characteristics that might cause a woman to have a negative Essure experience, even with proper placement.

Committed to reporting the truth and to not abandoning our patients, even in awkward circumstances, Dr. Garcia is one of the few gynecologists with the willingness and skill to remove the Essure coils in a situation where they appear to be causing problems, even after a successful procedure.  We trust the personal experiences these patients are reporting.  It is important that women know a hysterectomy is not needed in order to remove the coils.  Dr. Garcia can remove them either laparoscopically or hysteroscopically and a large surgical incision is not necessary.  We are so committed to our integrity, that when one of our patients told us that she had expelled her Essure coil AFTER a positive three-month Essure confirmation test, our research division published this as a case study in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology (JMIG).  This study became the first such case ever to be reported.  The article included an in-depth discussion of the possible reasons that the coil could have been expelled.  Click here to link to this article.  We also provide evaluation and treatment to women who have had Essure procedures elsewhere and are having problems related to the procedure.

Essure In-Office

The Essure procedure can be performed safely and effectively in the office setting by surgeons such as Dr. Garcia who are skilled with hysteroscopy and experienced with the Essure procedure.  Not all physicians are comfortable performing the Essure in-office.  However, Dr. Garcia has received additional specialized training in hysteroscopic procedures through her fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and teaches other physicians how to perform the Essure procedure safely and correctly.

Most women prefer the familiar, calm and peaceful atmosphere of the physician’s office as an alternative to the operating room.  At Center for Women’s Surgery, our patients experience personal care in a relaxed, familiar and friendly environment and the procedure takes just a few minutes.  Most insurance plans cover the cost of the procedure and you usually pay just an office co-pay.  Click here for a list of participating health plans.

Contact us for more information about the Essure performed in the office or to schedule an appointment for consultation.

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