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New Ulm Medical Center

New Ulm doctor offers permanent birth control without surgery

You are certain your family is complete and you want permanent birth control. But what are your options? You could have your tubes tied surgically, of course. But that’s no longer your only option.

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Victor Khayat, MD, FACOG

Today, you can ask your doctor for Essure, a sterilization procedure that requires no surgery and is hormone-free. “It’s just so much better, because you have no incision and the recovery is much faster,” said Victor Khayat, MD, FACOG, an obstetrician/gynecologist who offers the procedure at New Ulm Medical Center. Khayat explained that patients likely can return to their normal activities the next day.

Essure is as effective, if not more so, than tubal ligation, according to Khayat. “It has been shown to be 99.83 percent effective based on five-year clinical data,” he said, noting no birth control method is 100 percent effective.

Body, coils form a barrier

During the procedure, the doctor inserts the Essure coils into your fallopian tubes through your natural openings — vagina and cervix — so there is no need to cut. The coils are made from the same material as heart stents and other medical devices.

The coils are flexible and so they slide easily into the fallopian tubes. It takes about three months for your body to work with the coils and form a permanent barrier against sperm, preventing it from reaching your eggs.

“The insertion of the coil causes a scarring reaction in the fallopian tubes and that’s how it seals them off,” explained Khayat, who performs the procedure in the operating room and gives his patients light sedation to avoid any pain. The procedure of the placing the coils takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

A 91-day wait

If you’re not on birth control, you want to time the procedure with your menstrual cycle. “It’s best if it’s done when your lining is thin, which is usually during the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle,” Khayat said. “However, if you are on the birth control pill, it can be done anytime except when you’re having your period.”

Some patients may experience slight nausea or cramping afterward and may have some spotty bleeding. “I suggest patients take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs about 30 minutes before the procedure,” Khayat said. “That seems to lessen their pain.”

You must wait 91 days after the procedure to be sure it’s effective. Patients are advised to use another form of birth control during this time.

As a man does three months after a vasectomy, a woman must go for a simple test to be sure the procedure has worked. During the Essure confirmation test, a special dye is introduced into the uterus. “We use x-rays to watch the dye and confirm that the Essure inserts are in place and that the fallopian tubes are fully blocked,” Khayat said.

He added that almost any woman wanting to have permanent sterilization is a candidate for Essure. The only exceptions are people with serious allergies to metal, but that is very rare, Khayat said.

Also, if you have recently given birth, you must wait eight weeks before the Essure coils can be placed. “We usually talk about it when patients come for their six-week post-partum checkup,” Khayat said. “If they choose Essure, they come back two weeks later and we place the Essure coils in their fallopian tubes.”

Lower risk than surgery

Khayat said he favors Essure over tubal ligation for two risk-lowering reasons: It doesn’t require general anesthesia and there’s no surgery. “And,” he added, “with a tubal ligation, you need a couple days to a week to recover. With this, most people are back to work the next day.”

The procedure is permanent and cannot be reversed, and most health insurance plans cover it.

Khayat is sure more women would opt for Essure, which has been available since 2002, if they were aware of it. He has been performing the procedure since he was a resident in Pittsburgh, before he came to New Ulm.

To make an appointment with Dr. Khayat, call 507-217-5011.