Tubal Ligation Reversal

The female reproductive system is composed of a pair of tubes known as ‘fallopian tubules’, a pair of egg-producing ovaries, a centrally placed uterus, a canal that leads from uterus to vagina known as the ‘cervix’, and the vagina. The egg that is released from the ovaries enter the fallopian tubules where it is likely to meet the dominant sperm and get fertilized. Hence, one of the methods of birth control aim at targeting this organ that serves as a means of formation of zygote.

Tubal ligation is a medical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are tied and ligated, so that they do not remain patent for fertilization to take place. With the fallopian tubes closed, neither the eggs can reach the uterus after being released from the ovaries, nor the sperms can enter the reproductive system to fertilize the egg.

What is a tubal ligation reversal?

It is a procedure that is exactly the opposite of tubal ligation. Tubal reversal is carried out in order to restore a woman’s fertility after she has had her fallopian tubes ligated. A woman who got her fallopian tubes sterilized and wishes to conceive later on can undergo this procedure. The tubal reversal process aims at restoring a woman’s ability to reproduce.

What are the indications to reverse tubal ligation?

A woman needs to meet the following criteria before going in for reversing the sterilized condition of her fallopian tubes:

  • She should have a healthy weight
  • Her BMI must be normal
  • She should not be at an advanced age
  • There should be enough of healthy tube tissue left in her body to reconnect the system

How is tubal ligation reversal process done?

After a thorough history and examination, the patient is explained about the whole procedure. A tubal ligation reversal process is carried out by means of a laparoscope. This instrument bypasses the need to perform extended incisions on the abdomen. However, in this medical procedure, an incision measuring up to 4 to 6 inches is required. The two left over stumps of the fallopian tubes, one on each side, are brought together and reconnected with the system. The longer the tube stumps are, the easier it is to restore their function.

The whole process takes about 2 to 3 hours, and can even be performed in an outpatient department. Long duration admissions are usually not required unless the patient is unstable. The hospital stay may comprise of 3 days and a bed rest period of up to 2 weeks may be required after that.

How successful is the procedure?

The patency of fallopian tubes as well as the age of the patient are two important factors that determine the success rate of a tubal ligation reversal operation. If the tube stumps are of lengths not enough to bring about restoration, attaining pregnancy may get difficult.

The older the patient is, the lower are her chances of conceiving successfully after being operated for a tubal reversal process. The estimated rates of a successful pregnancy after the operation are from 40% to 85%.

Owing to the advancing age as well as other health factors, the ovarian reserves in a woman can decline. It means that she may not be able to produce enough eggs to conceive. Such a factor may lower her chances of attaining pregnancy even after a tubal ligation reversal surgery. Hence, ovarian reserves in a candidate for the surgery must be evaluated beforehand.

Advantages:

The greatest advantage that is associated with reverse tubal ligation surgical procedure is that it is done once and for all, that is, the patient will no longer require to resort to medications in order to conceive. Moreover, the risk of having a twin pregnancy is less with tubal reversal surgery. Naturally, such a pregnancy is likely to occur at a rate of one in 90 pregnancies.

If in any case the patient cannot conceive even after the operation, in vitro fertilization can be approached for the purpose.

Risks:

A tubal reversal procedure comes with least possibility of complications. However, some of them include bleeding, infection, and damage to the surrounding organs or tissues. It also increases the chances of having an ectopic pregnancy, which is rather a life threatening condition.

Tubal ligation reversal cost

Insurance companies usually do not provide a coverage for this procedure, since tubal ligation reversal process is rather an expensive one. The cost of anesthesia, hospital stay and fertility tests add more to its price.