It is often necessary to remove Mirena if it migrates, embeds itself in the uterus, or perforates the uterus and moves into the abdomen. Unfortunately, removing Mirena can be very difficult, especially if the threads are no longer accessible, and laparoscopic surgery may be necessary.
Mirena is a contraceptive implant that releases the hormone levonorgestrel directly into the uterus. While implanted, it reduces the risk of pregnancy for up to five years. Since the FDA approved Mirena in 2000, it has been used by more than 2 million women in the U.S. Worldwide, nearly 100 million women use the IUD.
In rare cases, Mirena can cause serious complications and may require surgical removal. The most serious complication is uterine perforation. It usually occurs during insertion (about one out of 1,000 insertions). Perforation can also occur spontaneously, and may or may not have symptoms. If the uterus is perforated, Mirena can migrate into the abdominal cavity.
Surgery to Remove Mirena
If Mirena migrates in the uterus or abdomen, the strings may no longer be accessible. This can complicate removal of Mirena. A healthcare professional may use specialized forceps to try to remove Mirena. However, if this fails, laparoscopic surgery may be necessary.
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally-invasive type of surgery that utilizes a tool called a laparoscope, which has a light, video camera, and surgical instruments on the end. A surgeon watches a video monitor to guide surgery. The benefit of this surgery is that it minimizes risks during surgery (such as bleeding), reduces pain, and reduces recovery time.
Case Reports of Mirena Surgical Removal
In 2008, surgeons published three case reports of women who required surgery to treat complications of the Mirena IUD.
- Case Report #1: A woman’s IUD migrated more than one year after it was implanted. After an x-ray and ultrasound confirmed that the IUD was no longer in her uterus, doctors assumed it had been expelled. Later that year, she had another x-ray, which located the IUD in her abdomen. She had the IUD surgically removed.
- Case Report #2: A woman with Mirena got pregnant and miscarried. Her doctor tried to remove Mirena, but was unsuccessful because it was embedded in her uterus. The IUD completely embedded itself in the uterine wall and had to be surgically removed.
- Case Report #3: A woman got Mirena after a pregnancy, and three months later, discovered she was 12 weeks pregnant. Her doctors could not locate Mirena, assumed it had been expelled, and the woman carried her pregnancy to term. Six years later, an x-ray located the Mirena in her abdomen. She had surgery to remove the IUD.
Complications of Mirena IUD
Some of the most serious complications occur when Mirena perforates the uterine wall, migrates into the abdomen, and requires surgery to remove. If you have suffered this complication or you required surgery, you may qualify for compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Serious side effects of Mirena include:
- Uterine perforation
- Embedment / erosion into the uterus
- Migration into the abdomen
- Perforation of the intestines or other organs
- Abdominal pain
- And more