Tubal sterilization reversal is a surgical procedure that attempts to restore a woman’s fertility by reconnecting the remaining separated segments of the 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. An overnight stay may be needed. An X-ray dye study (hysterosalpingogram or HSG) is usually advised 3-4 months after surgery to check if the tubal reversal procedure was successful.
A two to three 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.
An alternative to tubal reversal surgery and in women who are unsuccessful after tubal reversal, IVF may be the only option. With IVF, the fallopian tubes are bypassed and pregnancy is achieved without additional tubal surgery.