GynecologyPatient Blog

As you get older, your view on certain things may evolve — no doubt about it. From minor things, such as growing to enjoy some kind of food or pastime activities, to more serious ones, for example, planning a family. Most patients undergoing tubal ligation perceive it as permanent. And rightly so, as a decision of this magnitude should only come after deep consideration. There are, however, surgical ways to “undo” this process and make it possible for you to get pregnant. Find out everything you need to know about the reversal procedure.

Tubal ligation procedure — what is it?

Before we get to the whole “undoing” process, let’s explain the concept of tubal ligation itself. It’s a relatively simple surgical procedure that includes blocking the fallopian tubes, in order to prevent the eggs from travelling to ovaries, at the same time preventing sperm from getting to the eggs. The means of blocking may vary, depending on the applied technique — such as cutting or tying. At its core, it’s a permanent sterilization method (although, as we said before, it can be reversed). What is definitely worth mentioning, it doesn’t affect your menstruation cycle in any way.

The ligation reversal procedure does the exact opposite. The surgeon will reopen your fallopian tubes, by means of untying, reconnecting, or removing any other causes of obstruction applied during the original surgery. The end goal here is, of course, to make your reproductive system ready for pregnancy again.

Tubal ligation reversal — all you need to know

Before tubal ligation reversal you (and most likely your partner) will undergo some thorough medical examination, aimed at detecting any potential contraindications to the procedure. The examination also serves the purpose of ruling out any other conditions or disorders that could affect your fertility and prevent you from getting pregnant after the surgery. Your partner might have to get some tests on sperm count and semen analysis.

Tubal ligation reversal requires an overnight stay in the hospital. The surgery takes around 3 hours and is performed under general anaesthesia. It is preceded by a laparoscope examination, which allows the surgeon to check the condition of your fallopian tubes and determine, whether they qualify for the reversal procedure. If so, the surgeon will perform a small “bikini cut” along your pubic hair line and proceed to reopen the tubes, using the appropriate method (depending on the original ligation technique).

The recovery time after the surgery may vary, depending on the applied method. Major abdominal surgery may even require up to 3 days of hospitalization, but usually an overnight stay is enough. Modern microsurgical methods will have you return home the same day — just a few hours after the procedure. Your doctor will take the optimal approach to surgery, advise you on any potential risks and the course of the recovery process, and prescribe you some painkillers.

Risks and requirements of tubal ligation reversal

To qualify for tubal ligation reversal, you need to meet some criteria. The surgeon will consider factors such as your age (best candidates are under 40), method of the original procedure, amount of fallopian tube left, pregnancy history, and other conditions (past or present). Assuming there are no other fertility issues, the pregnancy success rate after the procedure is relatively high (although the likelihood of getting a baby decreases along with age, statistically speaking).

Potential threats and side effects mostly overlap with those of any other surgical procedure. They include the risk of bleeding, infection, tissue and organ damage, as well as reactions to anaesthesia. The surgery also increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilized egg is developing outside the womb).

Find out more about tube ligation reversal, as well as other medical procedures and specific conditions, by checking other articles available on our website. Also, be sure to contact us in case of any further inquiries.

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