Minimally Invasive Tubal Reversal SurgeryTubal ligation is a surgical procedure in which a woman's fallopian tubes are blocked, to prevent her eggs from traveling from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes, where they could be fertilized by a sperm. Reversing a tubal ligation by reattaching the cut or sealed ends of the tubes can restore fertility. The success of surgery to reverse a tubal ligation depends on:
- The tubal ligation method that was originally used. Clips and rings are successfully reversed the most often. Electrocautery is less likely to be successfully reversed.
- Time. The less time that has passed since the tubal ligation was done, the more likely it is that the reversal surgery will be successful.
- Condition of the tubes. The more the tubes are damaged, the less likely the reversal is to be successful.
Success RatesDepending on the method used for tubal ligation and how much of the fallopian tube is damaged after tubal ligation, success rates for open tubes following a reversal are about 70% to 80%. About half of the women who have the surgery will become pregnant. The success will be determined by the condition of the tubes after the reversal surgery, but also on the baseline fertility of the woman requesting the surgery. Women over 40 have baseline low fertility rates. You can meet with us for a consultation, but we may refuse to perform the surgery if we think there is little chance that it will be successful.
Other ConsiderationsThe surgery takes several hours. It can sometimes be performed with small incisions (robotic surgery), but sometimes takes a larger incision. Dr. Mudge is the only gynecologic surgeon performing robotic assist tubal reversal surgery in Alaska. Most insurance companies do not pay for the procedure. And it is not covered by U.S. government programs such as Medicaid. Women who have had a tubal ligation reversed have a higher-than-average risk of a fertilized egg implanting in the fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy) rather than in the uterus. There is no guarantee that you will be able to become pregnant after having the reversal.
Example of the suturing technique used during a robotic assisted tubal reversal: