Tubal Ligation Reversal
A tubal reversal is a procedure that restores blocked or tied fallopian tubes to restore a woman’s fertility. The procedure is called a tubal reversal because it is performed to reverse the effects of a tubal ligation, a surgical procedure which involves blocking the fallopian tubes (usually by tying) to prevent pregnancy.
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Pregnancy rates are influenced by both age and tubal ligation method. The highest pregnancy rate (87%) was reported by women age 29 or less who underwent reversal of a previous ring or clip method of sterilization. The lowest pregnancy rate (31%) was for women age 40 and older with either removal of the end of the tube, fimbriectomy, or unknown method of tubal ligation. Of the two variables, age is more predictive than tubal ligation method of the likelihood of becoming pregnant after reversal surgery.
The fallopian tube lengths remaining after a tubal ligation procedure are important determinants of the success of tubal reversal surgery. A normal fallopian tube length before a tubal ligation is approximately 10 cm or 4 inches. The average length of the two fallopian tubes after repair is correlated with the likelihood of becoming pregnant. Women with longer tubal lengths have a significantly higher pregnancy rate than women with shorter lengths following tubal reversal. Women with tubal lengths 7.5 cm (3 inches) or longer had a pregnancy rate of 80%. The pregnancy rate declines significantly if the remaining length are less than 4 cm (1 ½ inches).
Robotic tubal ligation reversal
The newest technique for reconstructing the fallopian tubes involves the use of robotic arms which are introduced through small laparoscopic incisions. The daVinci Robot is a surgical computerized assistant which allows the surgeon to work at a remote console in the operating room and perform the same surgery which was once done by an open incision laparoscopically. This is an outpatient procedure which takes two to three hours to perform. The operating time with the robot is slightly longer. The recovery time after this procedure is four to seven days, compared to four to six weeks with an open incision procedure.
The physicians at the Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey have all had extensive training in tubal reanastamosis. If you think you may be interested in a consult regarding microscopic tubal reversal, please call our office staff. We will help you to request your operative records in order to determine if the particular procedure used is reversible. We will also estimate your chances of success with this procedure.