Tubal Sterilization Reversal
Tubal sterilization reversal is a surgical procedure that attempts to restore a woman’s fertility by reconnecting the remaining separated segments of fallopian tube. The surgery is performed on women who previously had their tubes tied.
In general, good surgical candidates for tubal reversal are young women whose tubes were mechanically closed with rings or clips or who had only a small part of their fallopian tubes removed.
Tubal reversal surgery is done under general anesthesia in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. The surgery usually takes about 2-3 hours. Even though some women go home the same day, an overnight stay may be needed. An X-ray dye study (hysterosalpingogram or HSH) is usually advised 3-4 months after surgery to check if the tubal reversal procedure was successful.
Tubal reversal can be done in either of the following way:
- Open abdominal surgery (laparotomy) using a microsurgical technique
- Laparoscopic tubal reversal
- Robotically assisted tubal reversal
A 2-3 months waiting period is advised before attempting pregnancy in order for the tubes to heal completely. A pregnancy immediately after surgery increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy inside the fallopian tubes) requiring medical attention.
The success of a tubal reversal surgery depends on many factors:
- Woman’s ages
- Type of tubal sterilization that was previously performed
- Time interval from sterilization to reversal
- Overall health of the fallopian tubes
- Coexisting fertility factors (scarring, endometriosis, fibroids)
- Experience of the surgeon and techniques for repairing the tubes
- Length of remaining fallopian tube after reversal surgery
Similar to all surgeries, there is a risk of infection, bleeding and injury to adjacent organs including bowel, bladder and blood vessels. In addition, tubal reversal surgery increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
An alternative to tubal reversal surgery and in women who are unsuccessful after tubal reversal, in vitro fertilization or IVF may be the only option. With IVF, the fallopian tubes are bypassed and pregancy is achieved without additional tubal surgery. For more information, we encourage you to contact us.