January 26, 2021

Almost daily we receive inquiries regarding Filshie clip migration from women throughout the United States. Most of these women report that they have complained of substantial pain in their abdomen for months if not years before they are finally told that one of their Filshie clips that was implanted months or years earlier has migrated (i.e., moved from the Fallopian tube where it was implanted) and “may” be the cause of their pain. Many of these women are unable to find a surgeon to remove the migrated clip. Others do not have health insurance to pay for Filshie clip removal. Many have told us that they have complained to their doctors about abdominal pain for months or years but their complaints were not thoroughly investigated.

A medical journal article published online in February 2020 entitled “Migrated Tubal Ligation (Filshie) Clip as an Uncommon Cause of Chronic Abdominal Pain” reported: “Tubal ligation (TL) is an effective and common method of fertility control. In the year 2009, over 24,000 were performed in Canada alone. Migration of Filshie clips used during TL is estimated to occur in 25% of all patients; 0.1-0.6% of these patients subsequently experience symptoms or extrusion of the clip from anatomical sites such as the anus, vagina, urethra, or abdominal wall. Migrated clips may present as chronic groin sinus, perianal sepsis, or chronic abdominal pain. These symptoms can occur as early as 6 weeks or as late as 21 years after application.”

“Nearly 85% of these procedures [TL} are reported to utilize the Filshie clip as the preferred method of tubal occlusion. Filshie clip is a silicone-lined, titanium, occlusive device which was first introduced for surgical sterilization in 1981. Migration of Filshie clips after application is a common phenomenon and can result in failed sterilization. Recent literature has also identified migrated Filshie clips to be the source of pain, discomfort, and abscess formation. Though migrated Filshie clips are infrequently symptomatic, their frequency of use in gynecological procedures makes knowledge of potential adverse sequelae clinically relevant.”

“Complications with Filshie clips can be categorized by those related to the surgery and those related to the clip itself. Complications related to surgery are often related to misapplication of the clip which can lead to future pregnancies. Complications related to the clip are more varied and often present as pain or abscess formation secondary to extrusion or migration of the clip.”

“The mechanism of Filshie clip migration is thought to be closely related to its mechanism of function. Filshie clip application occludes the nearby vascular structures leading to avascular necrosis. Two blind stumps of the previously continuous structure remain after application, with one stump containing the Filshie clip with its jaws closed. It is theorized that peritoneal growth and adhesion formation of the clip-containing stump encloses the Filshie clip preventing migration. If this fails to occur, migration of the Filshie clip may occur. The inflammatory capsule and adhesions observed surrounding the Filshie clip in this case further support the idea of a localized inflammatory tissue reaction.”


Many of the women who contact us regarding Filshie clips have advised us that they were unaware that Filshie clips were used in their sterilization procedure, which raise possible informed consent issues, and that they would not have agreed to Filshie clips had they been fully informed. Many of these women thought that their Fallopian tubes were going to be cut or “clipped” during their sterilization procedure.

If you or a loved one suffered injury or other harm from Filshie clips in the United States, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your Filshie clip claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a Filshie clip medical malpractice, informed consent, and/or product liability case, if appropriate.

Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find Filshie clip attorneys who may assist you with your Filshie clip claim.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.