Ok, so I want to talk a little bit about the type of ligation that I had, which are filshie clips. First of all, let me say that this is my opinion, and my blog, so I'll say what I want.
I think they suck. I know that most TR doctors will tell you that they are the easiest to reverse. Ok. Score one for the filshie clips. But do you really want a foreign object inside of you? I didn't. Here's my story about my filshie clips.
When I had my tubal ligation done, I was adamant that I didn't want anything left inside of me. My tubes were supposed to be done by the pomeroy method. (See types of ligations page) What I got instead were filshie clips. These, in my humble opinion, are the dumbest idea anyone could have come up with. These clips are made from titanium and they have a silicone lining. They are roughly a half an inch long and an eighth of an inch wide.
This is probably closer than you would ever want to see them. But now you know what they look like.
Fishie Clips are put on laproscopically, or during the time of a csection delivery. They are honored as the gold standard because they are quick and efficient. There's just one tiny problem with them. They hurt. Our insides were meant to be soft and fluid. Our organs move as we move, swaying gently. These clips are now left inside, on our fallopian tubes, next to our uterus where they poke and prod and cause pain. Anyone who says that this is impossible probably has a penis, or at least doesn't have clips. Many doctors have gone so far to say that women only feel pain from the filshie clips, because they know that they are there. It is another version of the "its all in your head" song that women hear about PTLS. But I didn't know they were there. I found myself in intense pain, especially on my right side. It started immediately as the pain meds began to wear off in the recovery room. I was worried that a stitch had come off, or that something else other than my tube was burnt. I asked and was told that was not possible. (But not why that was not possible)
So, my life moved on and I waited for my pain to stop, but it didn't. It throbbed where the clips were, not so much on the left, but horribly on the right. It would actually swell up on the right side and it would look like I had a marble under my skin. I was so afraid that I was living with an untreated infection. I did the responsible thing and went back to the doctor. (See My Story of PTLS) When I finally found out I had the clips it all made sense to me. It totally felt like I had a foreign object inside of me. When you pressed on that point I would scream out. It hurt to sit, to walk, to carry my children. It hurt to sleep on the right side (which was my favorite spot), and worst of all, it hurt during sex. The whole point in having my tubes tied was for the sex. (Just being honest!) The only time it didn't hurt was when I laid flat on my back. At night my husband didn't get the wife who wanted sex, he got the wife who wanted to lay still with an icepack on her abdomen.
Once I found out about the filshie clips from obtaining my operative report, I began to tell my doctors that I thought they were causing my pain. The second gyno said that it was a common complaint of those that had filshie clips and she would be glad to take out my fallopian tubes. What??? I wasn't really into curing my pain by causing more damage. So I turned back to the internet, and to the CHTR website (see my list of doctors) and found so many other women who had the clips and had the same pain. (They also had ptls, but right now I am just focusing on the pain.)
So, its not just me. Here's what other women have said:
I am 30 yrs old, a mother of 3; ages 10, 3, and 18 months. Six weeks after the birth of my third child I had a bilateral tubal occlusion with filshie clips done. This was April of '09. I started having pain immediately following the surgery. It felt like my ovaries were going to burst all the time and that my tubes were being squeezed. I had the filshie clips removed 10 days ago and in less than 24 hours I noticed a big difference. I think my body was trying to fight the clips. For the last 10 months or so I have been waking up with my whole body in pain. It got worse and worse. It was getting to be a struggle to get out of bed every day because of the achiness. EVERY DAY I felt like I had been hit by a bus the day before. My legs hurt, joints ached, and just felt terrible in general. I also run about 4 miles a day. I thought the achiness was either from running or just getting older. Well the day after my surgery I woke up feeling perfectly fine. It never even crossed my mind until then that those clips were causing my body to hurt. As I said, I am ten days post op and have not felt the slightest bit achy since. How weird is that?
Or how about this one:
I had a tubal done in August of 2006 and started having mysterious pelvic, abdominal, rib/back pain that continued to worsen. (I did not know that filshie clips were used in my tubal procedure). The mysterious pain went on for years...because the drs just could not figure out why I had pain they suggested that I have my gall bladder removed - which I did in Feb 2009 (even though I did not have stones and I passed every test/scan). I continued to go downhill all of last year, and by November I was laying down at every chance. I went to a number of drs who came up with all kids of ideas: they thought I had nerve pain "left over" from the gall bladder operation, or fibromyalgia, or depression, or IBS and I kept telling all of them NONE of those things "fit". I finally found a dr who was willing to listen to me and was willing to do surgery to take a look around. She took out the clips and I no longer have pelvic pain or rib pain!! Those clips were rubbing on my abdominal wall and there is no doubt my body was NOT happy. I would have never approved ANYTHING being left in me (knotting and cauterizing the tubes was plenty sufficient!) I have lost a lot of faith in drs and health care in this process, not to mention thousands of dollars in co-pays to reach out of pocket maximums! Had I been given a CHOICE or warned about the use of them, I might not have spend the last 4 years of my life struggling with pain and fatigue!
Or this one:
I had the filshie clips put on approx. 2 years ago. Since then I have had constant pain in my lower right and left hand side below my navel and constant bloating. An ultrasound proved nothing was wrong. I then had bleeding in between my menstrual cycle. My gyno decided to do exploratory surgery. It was found that the clips had caused massive adhesions and they were removed at once. Now three days after the surgery I have never felt better. To say the problem is rare, I dont know after reading through the posts it seems to be a bit of a regular occurrence???? Maybe more studies need to be conducted after all. I now have been recommended to have a hysterectomy due to the damage that has been done.
So, see it's not just me! Actually you can find so many posts if you look up the search "filshie clips and pain" or "filshie clip removal". The biggest problem is the pain is in addition to the suffering caused by PTLS. If I had just had pain from the filshie clips, I would have sought a reversal. If I just had the symptoms of PTLS, then I would have had the reversal. But the two combined made me want to die. And to go to the doctor and have them tell you that it is all in your head is so incredibly wrong.
The last thing I want to tell you about filshie clips is that they migrate. Yes, that means move. Apparently, after the tissue in the clip dies, the clip can come loose and float or migrate around the body. We are told that this is OK because they are designed to stay in the body indefinitely. I don't know about you, but for someone who didn't want clips in the first place, I really don't want them if they are going to move around. Here, see for yourself:
Notice there are two clips on the left hand side of the pelvis. Hmmmm.....shouldn't there be one on the left, and one on the right? Not if the right one fell off and is floating around. There have been other reports of women who had filshie clips come out of their vagina, anus, or end up in their bladder, stomach, spleen or appendix. That doesn't sound like fun. My gyno admitted that the last time she did a hysterectomy, the woman had a filshie clip embedded in the side of her uterus. Hmmmm....could that have caused pain? It is estimated that this type of migration occurs in 25% of patients. And doctors who perform tubal reversals say that one or more clips are missing roughly 30% of the time. Don't you think that women should be told this information before agreeing to filshie clip sterilization? (I will provide a link at the bottom if you want to read my source)
So, today as I sit here and type this I can't help but be grateful that the doctor was able to find both of my clips. I even got to keep them. You would be amazed at how big they are in your hands, and how rough they are to the touch. I am so glad to be rid of the pain in my side as well as my ptls symptoms. If you have filshie clips and are considering removing them due to pain, then I say go for it. You'll feel better. I do!
Link to Filshie Clip Migration Info