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Tubal Ligation Reversal

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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.

Pregnancy Success Rates After Reversal

If the remaining fallopian tubes are healthy, and you and your partner do not have any other infertility issues, you have a good chance of becoming pregnant after tubal reversal.

However, not every woman is able to become pregnant after tubal reversal. Age plays an important role in the ability to become pregnant after tubal reversal. Older women are much less likely than younger woman to become pregnant after this procedure. In general, pregnancy success rates range from 40% to 85%. When pregnancy does occur, it usually occurs within the first year. Success depends on several things, including:

  • Your age
  • Type of tubal ligation procedure you had
  • Length of the remaining fallopian tubes, and whether they still work properly
  • Amount of scar tissue in your pelvic area
  • Results of your partner's sperm count and other fertility tests
  • Surgeon's skill

You will need another X-ray dye test (hysterosalpinogram) about three to four months after surgery to make sure your tubes are open and working properly.

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