Non-surgical Permanent Birth Control for Women
Want to stop worrying about contraceptives?
There is no easier way than Essure!
While most of my web site is about the extraordinarily effective UFE procedure, I have made some room to discuss Essure, an exciting service we started offering in 2006. The device was approved by the FDA several years before 2006, but that year I realized that gynecologists in San Antonio were still not offering this amazing surgical alternative to their patients. Only four gynecologists were using it! So I set out to offer it myself. In 2006, I became the 5th physician in San Antonio to offer Essure to women seeking an alternative to surgery for permanent birth control.
Essure is a tiny spring that is inserted into the fallopian tubes that block the tubes. It has been placed in over 150,000 women and is clinically proven to be as effective as having your tubes tied! (BTL = bilateral tubal ligation) but involves no surgery. The device is FDA-approved and most insurance companies cover it. Now you can give yourself permanent protection and neither you or your partner has to endure surgery! I have to ask myself why any woman would choose to undergo surgery when she could have this procedure? If as a couple you have decided he is going to have a vasectomy, stop and ask, why should either of us get cut if we do not have to???
Say NO to BTL. Say NO to vasectomy.
What follows is a description of how Essure works. Read on if you are curious. If you already know you want this procedure give us a call at (210) 616-7780 or (800) 317-0774. If you prefer to send a request for an appointment or ask me a question, contact me by e-mail.
How does it work?
The fallopian tubes transmit the ovum (egg) from a woman's ovary to her uterus. If those tubes are blocked, the ovum never comes into contact with a man's sperm, and therefore cannot become fertilized. Many woman are infertile because they have developed blocked tubes. The block may be from debris or scar tissue (natural blockage) or because the tube has been surgically interrupted via bilateral tubal ligation (BTL).
For many years we have been able to open the fallopian tubes for women whose tubes are blocked but want to get pregnant. Using the very same method, with a slight twist, we can now block the open tubes for women who are sure that they do not want to get pregnant.
The technique involves no surgery. We place the Essure in a very sophisticated room using specialized equipment at Methodist Hospital. A female nurse and technician are in the room with us. You will be on a table padded with a comfortable Tempur-Pedic mattress and place your legs in stirrups, just as you go through during a pelvic exam. You will be given a light sedative which will help you feel quite relaxed. We then thread a small tube into the cervix. While that sounds creepy and painful, the tube is 30-40 times smaller than the head of a baby; and you most likely got through that. And if it does cause you any pain, we will stop that pain by changing what we are doing or by giving you additional medicine. The collapsed Essure coil slides in through the tube. Using real time X-ray (fluoroscopy) we know just when the coil is in the right place. After placing the first coil, we place the second into the tube on the other side.
This graphic shows the Essure in place in the fallopian tube.
The procedure takes only a few minutes. During that time we use conscious sedation to ensure you are comfortable. You are not put to sleep (though it is fine if you chose to close your eyes and go to sleep). You will be ready to go home after the sedation wears off, in about 30 minute to an hour. Because we use the sedation, you will need to take the day off of work and arrange for someone to drive you home. But you can start routine activity again the next day.
While the Essure device can block the tube instantly, it takes some time to make sure it is maximally effective. You need to use another method of contraception for 3 months after the procedure. During that time, scar tissue is growing through the coil...it is this scar tissue that blocks off the tube permanently. For almost all women, this happens in less than 3 months (97%). 100% of tubes will be blocked at 6 months.
Here, tissue has grown into the Essure, permanently blocking the fallopian tube
Three after the procedure we will check to make sure the tubes are blocked. As soon as we verify they are blocked, you can stop using any other form of contraceptive.
Office hours: Monday - Friday 8AM to 5PM
Voice (210) 616-7780 (BTW they may answer "Texas Vein Clinic"...this is also the IRC)
Toll Free 1 (800) 317-0774
Fax (210) 616-7789
Women's Imaging: 4499 Medical Drive, Suite 171, San Antonio, TX 78229
Northwest Imaging: 4383 Medical Drive, Suite 150, San Antonio, TX 78229
Hardy Oaks Imaging: 18707 Hardy Oak Blvd. Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78258
The information provided on www.drjohnthomas.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician.
This page was last updated on
Sunday, May 20, 2012