Metro Atlanta mothers are speaking out about a permanent birth control they claim causes debilitating pain. It's called Essure. Women complain about complications from the insert marketed as being cheaper and safer than getting your tubes tied. Most women are told hysterectomy is the only option to feel better.
"I know my body and something was wrong," Holly Bruce said.
"I was miserable. It was hard to function," April Langley said.
Langley and Bruce share unpleasant memories. Pain in their pelvis and lower back, cramping and odd sicknesses after having the Essure micro-coil implanted into their fallopian tubes as permanent birth control. But after the procedure both women felt they were no longer in control of their lives.
"I just kept getting worse instead of getting better," Langley said.
"Doctor visit after doctor visit, and it got old. It got old for me and it got old for my family," Bruce said.
Then they heard about Dr. Bill Greene at Lakeshore Surgical Center. Women from all over the country travel to Greene's Gainesville office to have Essure removed without a hysterectomy, a procedure few doctors perform.
"The sad thing is we had many women call and say the only way to remove these is with hysterectomy which is a dangerous operation even in a healthy woman. It quickly became apparent that when you take out these devices out the symptoms go away," Greene said.
Because the Essure micro-coil contains nickel, some doctors believe women who are allergic to nickel are more likely to have negative reactions. Statistics show 1 in 10 women are allergic to the metal. The FDA does not require nickel testing before having the Essure procedure.
"I think it ought to be mandatory to be tested for the nickel allergy, no question in my mind," Greene said.
Bruce had the Essure removed a year ago with immediate results.
"I laid in bed and told my husband, that pain is gone. Having the Essure coils was the worst decision I've ever made in my life. Having them removed was the best decision I've ever made in my life," Bruce said.
Dr. Greene successfully removed the Essure coils from Langley in September.
"He gave me my life back and my chance at life, and he was a savior in my eyes," Langley said.
Essure is supposed to be permanent, and removal isn't cheap. The procedure is $4,500 out of pocket.
The FDA has had 943 complaints so far and say they are monitoring the issue. Click here to read the FDA statement. Click here to read the statement from Bayer Healthcare who owns Essure,
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