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Infertility & Reproduction Health Center

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Tubal Ligation Reversal

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Before the Procedure

Before surgery, your health care provider will likely recommend a complete physical exam for you and your partner to determine if pregnancy can be achieved after a tubal reversal. This may include blood and imaging tests to make sure your ovaries are normal. You will need a test called a hysterosalpinogram (HSG), to check the length and function of your remaining fallopian tubes. An HSG can be doing using dye and X-ray or saline and air along with ultrasound.

A sperm count and semen analysis is recommended for a male partner to rule out any infertility problems.

How Is Tubal Reversal Performed?

Tubal reversal surgery is done in a hospital or outpatient center. You will be given general anesthesia, which means you will be pain-free during surgery and unaware of the operation taking place.

During the procedure, the surgeon places a small lighted scope, called a laparoscope, through the belly button and into the pelvis area. This allows the surgeon to look at the fallopian tubes and determine if reversal surgery is possible.

If the tubal ligation can be reversed, the surgeon then makes a small surgical cut, called a "bikini cut," near the pubic hair line. Microscopic instruments attached to the end of the laparoscope allow the surgeon to remove any clips or rings used to block your tubes, and reconnect the ends of the tubes to the uterus, using very small stitches.

The surgery usually takes about two to three hours.

Recovery After a Tubal Reversal

Recovery time depends on the surgical method used to perform the tubal reversal. Tubal reversal is major abdominal surgery that is more difficult and takes longer to perform than the original tube-tying operation.

Some women may need to stay in the hospital for one to three days. Today, however, tubal reversal surgery is most often done using microsurgical techniques. An overnight hospital stay may not be needed. Women who have the microsurgical method usually go home the same day, typically within two to four hours after the surgery is complete.

The doctor will prescribe painkillers to help you manage any discomfort. Most women resume normal activities within two weeks.

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