Overview of Tubal Ligation Reversal
•Tubal ligation reversal is a procedure that reconnects the fallopian tubes in women who have previously undergone tubal ligation (had their “tubes tied”).
•Reconnecting the fallopian tubes restores their natural function, allowing sperm to reach and fertilize an egg.
•Reversals are successful in approximately 80 percent of women undergoing surgery, but success depends upon a number of factors including age and anatomy.
What is tubal ligation reversal?
Tubal ligation reversal is a procedure that reconnects the fallopian tubes in women who have previously undergone tubal ligation (tied tubes).
It is estimated that 700,000 women undergo tubal ligation as a means of permanent contraception in the United States annually. In some cases, women may regret their tubal sterilization and desire the ability to conceive. Tubal ligation reversal and in vitro fertilization (IVF) have the potential to restore fertility for these women.
Reconnecting the fallopian tubes restores their natural function, allowing sperm to reach and fertilize an egg. The procedure restores fertility in approximately 80 percent of women who have had tubal ligation surgery.
How is tubal ligation reversal performed?
We perform a mini-laparotomy, a type of microsurgery, to reverse tubal ligation.
•The procedure is carried out under general anesthesia at an outpatient center and takes approximately two hours.
•The abdomen is accessed by a small (two inch) transverse incision. The fallopian tubes are identified and the area of blockage is surgically excised. The free ends of the fallopian tube are then carefully reconnected using a very fine suture.
Once the fallopian tubes are reopened, sperm have the ability to travel through the fallopian tube and fertilize an egg. The egg then moves to the uterus for implantation. Even if the tubal reversal procedure is successful, it does not guarantee pregnancy.
Who should consider tubal ligation reversal?
When possible, we will provide the operative notes and pathology report from your previous tubal ligation surgery. This will provide important information to aid in determining if a potential tubal ligation reversal is right for the individual patient.
There are several factors that must be taken into consideration, as tubal ligation reversal is not appropriate for everyone. Factors include:
•Overall health of patient
•Age, weight and body mass index (BMI)
•The type of tubal ligation previously performed: Cautery, Hulka Clip, Fallope Ring, Pomeroy, etc.
•Remaining length of fallopian tubes
•The extent of damage to the fallopian tubes
•The condition of the fimbrial portion of the fallopian tube (area of fallopian tube closest to the ovaries)
•Other fertility factors, such as results of a sperm analysis
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