Many women undergo a tubal ligation procedure when they consider that their fertility desires have been satisfied. But, in many cases, after undergoing this surgical and "definite" fertility treatment, the woman can change her mind and can desire to have another baby (please follow the link to read on Fertility Assessment) .
This procedure is considered definite because once it is performed, the woman can't become naturally pregnant. So, when a woman wanted to become pregnant after this procedure, she had to undergo an assisted fertility procedure.
However, in the last decades, some experts have developed a new surgery called Tubal Ligation Reversal, which can restore the Fallopian tubes function and the woman can naturally have a baby again (reference World Health Organization).
What Is a Tubal Ligation Reversal?
A tubal ligation reversal is defined as a surgical procedure that has the main objective to restore a woman's fertility after she has undergone a tubal ligation.
During a tubal ligation, the surgeon cuts or blocks the Fallopian tubes to prevent the contact between the ovum and the spermatozoa. So, a tubal ligation reversal consists on reconnecting or reopening the Fallopian tubes to restore the normal function of the female reproductive system.
Who Could Undergo a Tubal Ligation Reversal?
As it was said before, a good candidate for a tubal ligation reversal is a woman who has undergone a tubal ligation in the past but now desires to recover her fertility to become pregnant naturally. However, not all women are ideal candidates for undergoing a tubal ligation reversal just because they desire to recover their fertility.
In all cases, the woman must visit a qualified doctor in the tubal ligation reversal procedure and only he/she can determine if it is possible to reverse the prior surgery.
Among the characteristics that the doctor will consider to determine if the procedure might be successful, the following can be included:
- The patient's age, body mass index (BMI) and the eggs quality: If the woman is older than 40 years, has a BMI higher than 30 (obesity) or her eggs do not have proper conditions, the doctor can recommend undergoing an assisted reproduction technique instead a tubal ligation reversal surgery.
- The method that was used to perform the tubal ligation: When the Fallopian tubes were blocked using specialized clips or rings, it is easier to revert the procedure successfully than in those cases in which the doctor used an electrocautery to burn and close some segments in the Fallopian tubes.
Likewise, other types of surgical sterilization techniques (like the Essure system), can't be reverted.
- The length of the remaining tubal: This characteristic is closely related to the degree of damage of the Fallopian tubes, so some experts define it as the Fallopian tubes current conditions. Having more than 50% of the Fallopian tubes tissue in good conditions is necessary to obtain good results with a tubal ligation reversal.
How Is a Tubal Ligation Reversal Procedure Performed?
The patient that will undergo a tubal ligation reversal procedure must visit the doctor to determine if she is a good candidate for the procedure and the best way to recover the Fallopian tubes permeability.
The day of the procedure, the patient will receive anesthesia (usually general anesthesia) and the surgeon will perform the procedure in two steps by using two methods, laparoscopy or laparotomy. In the first stage of the procedure, a tiny camera is inserted through the belly button to amplify the image of the pelvic area and decide if tubal reversal surgery is possible.
During the second stage, the doctor performs a small cut in the pubic area to use some tiny instruments to remove the clips or rings placed to block the Fallopian tubes or using very small stitches to reconnect the ends of the Fallopian tubes.
A tubal ligation reversal usually takes between 1 and 3 hours to be completed and the patient usually must spend the night at the hospital to avoid any possible complication.
How Much Does a Tubal Ligation Reversal Cost?
The cost of a tubal ligation reversal will vary according to the type of surgery that will be performed (laparoscopic or opened), the type of anesthesia that will be used (local with sedation or general), the time that has passed since the tubal ligation surgery was performed, the patient's age and general health condition, among others. However, the experts say that this procedure is cheaper and more effective than undergoing an assisted reproduction technique.
The first offers start below 3000 $ and up to 17000$.