In 2008 I went to my Doctor for excessive bleeding.
I ride horses in competition. My Doctor who I had used for several years suggested that I have an ablation. He said that I could be back riding my horses in 2-3 days after the procedure. I asked lots of questions about the ablation. I was excited. I did not want to have a hysterectomy & due to my age I thought that taking hormonal birthcontrol was not a good option for me to control the bleeding. At the very end of our discussion the Doctor mentioned that he noticed that I had never had my tubes tied. He told me that since I’d never had my tubes tied I would need to have that done. I was very skeptical because I felt that at my age (I was just a few months from turning 45) that getting pregnant would be highly unlikely. I also felt that since I hadn’t used birthcontrol for years & never was able to concieve that it wasn’t necessary. My dr said that I couldn’t have the ablation without some form of permanent birthcontrol. I still protested but he informed me that he had a patient at that time my age that was pregnant and things were not good. He explained that it would be life threatening should I become pregnant. I didn’t really think that I needed a tubal but I agreed. Anything to get rid of the excessive bleeding without having to have a hysterectomy or take hormonal birthcontrol since my family has a high incidence of heart disease. Thats when the Doctor informed that he could possibly do a procedure while they were performing the ablation and that it wouldn’t involve anymore down time than what the ablation would. He explained that they would place small plug devices into the fallopian tubes. He made it sound so simple. I didn’t really think I needed it but anything to stop the bleeding besides having a hysterectomy sounded great to me.
I was told in preop that I would be having a Therma choice balloon ablation. I was slightly confused because the Doctor had talked about Novasure. I should have questioned more but I was just so happy to think about being able to get on with my life. I had the procedure done at the hospital. My Doctor made the statement that an Essure Rep would be present. I was puzzled but then the thought that I was finally going to get rid of all the bleeding was so exciting I was just ready to get on with the procedure.
I had the procedures. Doctor said that everything went well. He had them schedule me for a six week post operative appointment. I was uncomfortable but I figured that it was probably normal. I had a very difficult time trying to urinate once I got home. So much so that my husband even became worried about me. It took me forever to relieve myself. I figured that I probably had some trauma and swelling due to the procedures and that it would probably go away in a few days.
As each day went by, I was getting better at being able to urinate but I was hurting more and more. The pain was predominantly on my right side. I had trouble going to sleep at night due to the pain but once I finally got some rest it seemed like maybe the pain was a little better. One night I was hurting so bad that I was shaking. I had some pain pills and took some. Once the pain eased up some, I looked up the procedures on the internet. I mostly found information that Conceptus the maker of Essure had put out. I did read that there was some sort of confirmation test that had to be done three months after placement in order to confirm tubal occlusion and proper placement. At that point I began to wonder if my pain might be due to one of the devices being out of place. I just decided that I would call my dr in the morning, tell them about the pain and ask about this confirmation test.
I called the office exactly two weeks from the date of placement. I talked to a nurse who informed me that I was the one who had the Novasure ablation. I informed her that I did not. That I had the Thermachoice Balloon Ablation and that I was hurting bad. That it was progressively getting worse as each day passed. She said she would have someone call me. Another nurse called me to ask what was going on and she also informed me that I had a Novasure ablation. I informed her that I did not. She said it didn’t matter anyway that she would have the Doctor call me about the pain.
The Doctor called me and asked me what was going on. I told him that I was in a lot of pain and that it was predominantly on my right side. I told him that I was wondering if it could be the Essure since it says you have to have a confirmation test to confirm blockage and proper placement. Thats when the Doctor informed me that they did not perform the confirmation test on women who had ablations because you could not rely on the results due to the scarring from the ablation. I was stunned. First he never told me about the need for a confirmation test but then telling me that he couldn’t do the test because of the ablation. I asked him why did he perform a procedure on me that could never be verified. He said that Essure was 100% effective that there was no need for the test and that the test was actually a HSG which they had found was very painful to us ladies so they didn’t do them. I explained that I was having lots of pain that something was wrong. He assured me that it could not be Essure that if I was having problems then I’d probably just need to have a hysterectomy. My husband spoke with the Doctor and he was told the same thing.
I decided to wait and see if things got better. I started doing some research and discovered that the devices can come out of place or cause perforations. I continued to get worse as each day passed. The pain was unbearable especially driving or riding in a vehicle. At night I would be shaking with pain. I called again exactly three weeks after my procedure. The dr told me to come in the next morning.
When I got there they performed a transvaginal ultrasound. The Doctor told me that the techinician was unable to see the devices on the ultrasound. I spent the next 30-45 minutes in a room with the dr trying to convince me that I just needed to have a hysterectomy. I was very upset. He supposedly called Conceptus a few times during this time and said he was told by Conceptus that they had never heard of anything like this and that it couldn’t be from the Essure devices. Finally, and I want everyone to understand how humiliating this was but I said to the Doctor, ‘Ok I agree that the mind is powerful, that it could be all in my head but until I saw something verifying that those devices were in the correct place then I wasn’t going to satisfied’. He suggested a flat plate xray. I had to go to the hospital for the xray. The dr had instructed the radiologist to show me the xray to prove to me that everything was ok. The xray clearly showed a problem. I took the xray with me and left. I did not return to the Doctor’s office. I knew at that point that he did not have my best interests in mind.
I had two devices removed at another facility approximately five weeks after the original placement. I continued to experience problems. I continued to have pain. I underwent many tests such as the transvaginal ultrasounds & even a CT scan. The pain continued. I was prescribed birthcontrol pills to try and help with the pain. I felt that the dr that I was seeing was not being very helpful so I decided that I would seek help from another facility in another state.
I had numerous testing done even the urodynamics testing due to some ongoing problems with my bladder. I was prescribed progesterone and eventually told that I most likely suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This dr felt that more surgery would not resolve my problems. I finally told him that I was to point where I was ready to perform surgery on myself due to the continued pain. He at that agreed to do a hysterectomy but warned that studies showed that women who had chronic pelvic usually were not helped by a hysterectomy.
I had the hysterectomy and awoke to my husband showing me pictures of an unknown third essure device that no one knew was there. I spent three years in constant pain. I tried many different medications trying to avoid the narcotics to control my pain. I felt with every fiber of my being that something was wrong and yet no one would listen to me. The whole ordeal caused problems with my marriage. I have lost all faith in Doctors. I do not trust the medical profession any longer. The whole process took a heavy toll on my body physically and the emotional trauma is something that I don’t think I will ever get over. I am not happy that I had to have a hysterectomy because with the hysterectomy I have developed certain side affects due to the hysterectomy. I have spent thousands of dollars in medical expenses. My medical records from the original placement does state that one of the devices malfunctioned but that it was removed. Apparently it was not removed. I feel that since an Essure rep was present that at the very least that Essure rep had a duty to inform someone that more than two devices were placed not to mention the dr should have reported that because I spent three years of my life in pain & emotional turmoil because no one knew that there was possibly a third device placed.
In summary it seems that my insurance company redacted all payments for the ablation and the Essure procedure due to my past medical history and the fact that my insurance company felt that the procedures were not medially necessary. The Instructions for use of Essure as set forth by the FDA states that Essure and Novasure Ablations should not be performed concomittently. An Essure rep was present while this was taking place and was also present when a device malfunctioned and instead of two devices being placed in my body there was three devices placed. I have spoken with the original Doctor many times and I have spoken with Conceptus and at no point did any of them ever provide with information regarding the third device which could have saved me years of pain, emotional turmoil, huge financial expenses and even possibly saved me from having to have a hysterectomy.
I did ultimately wind up having to have a hysterectomy. That is when they found the 3rd unknown metal coil. I suffered tremendously due to not knowing that a 3rd device was used. Not one of my problems were ever reported to the FDA other than by me. The Doctor apparently called Conceptus & they did make a report at that point about the perforation. No one has yet to make a report about the 2nd surgery where they found the 3rd device.
Call me naive but I just find it hard knowing that these companys & Doctors can have so little regard for their patients that they are allowed to get away with this.
I have all my medical records & I also have the insurance EOB’s where they redacted the claim for the original Essure procedure due to my past medical history & it not being medically necessary. I know this part is medical malpractice but I feel that due to the incentives given by the company & the information that they provide the Doctors with that it is important because it shows how this company has influenced the Doctors & witheld information that clearly shows that they are not following the guidelines that they are supposed to.
I do believe that women need to know that there are incentives or have been so in the past that has influenced many in the medical profession to defend this procedure. I’d like to see the company held responsible for their role in what happened to me.