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Female sterilization procedures now available in clinic

By Nancy Humphrey
January 2011

Vanderbilt’s Center for Women’s Health is offering women two faster, safer and highly effective methods of permanent sterilization, both performed by physicians in the office at the Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks and Cool Springs locations.

Unlike traditional laparoscopic tubal ligation procedures, which require abdominal incisions to block or remove portions of the fallopian tubes, the two non-reversible procedures – Essure and Adiana – rely on a small scope passed through the cervix and into the uterus to block the tubes. The procedure can be performed as early as six weeks postpartum.

In the Essure procedure, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002, a soft, flexible coil is placed partially into the fallopian tubes.

The Adiana technique, approved by the FDA last year, uses radiofrequency and a tiny silicone plug, about the size of a grain of rice. Vanderbilt’s Ted Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was involved in Adiana’s clinical trials.

Both can be performed in clinic procedure rooms instead of operating rooms and usually take less than 12 minutes.

Women who undergo the office sterilization must use another form of birth control during the three months following the procedure. Three months after, an X-ray using dye is done to make sure the fallopian tubes are blocked.

Tamara Callahan, M.D., M.P.P., assistant professor of Ob/Gyn, said that although no birth control method is 100 percent effective, Essure is believed to be 99.74 percent effective and Adiana, 98.4 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.

Ob/Gyn residents who are trained at Vanderbilt will leave their residency knowing how to do both procedures.

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