Hormone pellet therapy involves the implantation of small doses of bio-identical hormones under the skin, according to DeRosa Medical. Pellets are made from the hormones estradiol or testosterone and are pressed into small solid cylinders by a licensed compounding pharmacy.
Pellets are inserted in the lower abdominal wall or hip in a relatively painless procedure done under local anesthesia, explains DeRosa Medical. The incision is then taped closed. Potential complications include minor bleeding, bruising, discoloration of the skin, infection and possible extrusion of the pellet. In some patients, positive effects are felt within 24 to 48 hours while it may take a week or two for others to notice a difference. Side effects such as mild breast tenderness or temporary water weight gain should resolve on their own.
Patients are instructed to avoid extended exposure to moisture for four to five days, as well as vigorous physical activity (48 hours in women and five to seven days in men), states DeRosa Medical. Pellets deliver consistent levels of hormones for three to six months, depending on the dosage. Pellets dissolve after the full dose has been delivered. Patients undergoing hormone pellet therapy avoid the swings of hormone levels and unwanted side effects caused by other methods of delivery.