When Essure perforates the fallopian tube and migrates into the abdomen, it can cause severe complications like chronic pain and intestinal perforations. Often the only treatment is emergency surgery.
Not inserting Essure far enough into the fallopian tube can cause it to migrate into the uterus. This well-known complication typically occurs during the first month after placement.
Essure can also migrate into the abdominal cavity after perforating the fallopian tube or the uterus — often after inserting Essure too far. This complication is much more serious, rare, and it can occur months or years after Essure was implanted.
Complications of Essure Migration
When Essure migrates into the abdomen, it can cause severe complications and often must be retrieved surgically. Essure (or its broken fragments) can lacerate organs and cause inflammation, chronic pain, and allergic reactions.
Essure migration complications may include:
- Chronic pain
- Intestinal obstruction due to Essure entanglement
- Intestinal perforation
- Local inflammation
- Organ damage
- Unintended pregnancy
- Follow-up surgery
Essure implants that migrate can be located with an X-ray. In most cases, minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery can safety remove Essure. However, some patients require open abdominal surgery. Multiple surgeries may be necessary if broken fragments of Essure are left behind.
Emergency Surgery After Essure Migrates and “Strangles” Intestines
A case report published in Contraception described a 42 year-old woman who was sterilized with Essure. One month later, she developed nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and bloating.
After an X-ray located Essure in her abdomen, she underwent emergency surgery. Doctors discovered that Essure migrated to her intestines and caused “strangulation and local perforation of the bowel wall.” The injured part of her intestines had to be removed.
Bowel Obstruction & Perforation Symptoms
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Inability to have a bowel movement
- Excessive fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- And more
FDA Receives Nearly 500 Reports of Essure Migration
The FDA received 482 reports of migration linked to Essure between November 2002 and May 2015. Hundreds of those events were submitted in the last few years. In 2013, the FDA updated the patient brochure to emphasize the risk of Essure migration and chronic pelvic pain.