A tubal reversal unblocks the fallopian tubes after a procedure like a tubal ligation or the placement of a device like Essure. During a tubal reversal, depending on the type of tubal ligation the patient had initially, the doctor will reopen, untie, or reconnect the fallopian tubes to allow eggs released from the ovaries to reach the uterus. While most tubal reversals are successful and woman are able to become pregnant, the procedure has the best chances of success if the original surgery only removed small parts of the fallopian tubes or if the tubes were closed with rings or clips. A woman’s general health and medical history are also considered when a tubal reversal is requested. The physicians consider the patient’s age, the type of the original tubal ligation surgery, if she has had healthy pregnancies in the past, and if the patient has ever had surgery for conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease. Surgeries often leave scar tissue that can cause fertility issues and negate the effects of a tubal reversal.
The physicians at Leavitt Women’s Healthcare perform tubal reversals laparoscopically whenever possible. The surgery is performed using special instruments which are inserted through small incisions in the patient’s abdomen. One of the instruments is a laparoscope, a slender tube with a camera and light mounted on the end. The camera sends a live video feed to a monitor in the procedure room, allowing the doctor to see the procedure without an invasive traditional open procedure. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and most patients are able to return home on the same day.
After a tubal reversal, most women return home and spend a few days resting before returning to work. Heavy lifting and other strenuous activities should be avoided until the doctor says it is allowed. To determine the success of the surgery, the patient will usually have an x-ray test with a dye to check if the fallopian tubes have been successfully opened. If the surgery is successful, most women are able to become pregnant within 12-18 months.
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