Tubal reversal surgery, also known as tubal reanastomosis, is performed to reverse a prior tubal ligation surgery. Tubal ligation is sought as a permanent sterilization solution for women who no longer wish to become pregnant. But should the woman change her mind later in life, tubal reversal is the less costly alternative to in vitro fertilization.
Tubal reversal is a more invasive process than tubal ligation. As such, it comes with the risks and precautions associated with most major surgical procedures. In addition, some medical conditions may have an effect on your candidacy for tubal reversal.
Scarring and Results of Tubal Ligation
The method used for the initial tubal ligation is one of the first conditions to take into consideration. If the ligation left behind considerable scar tissue in the pelvis, patients may not be able to have it reversed. The doctor will also need to know how much tissue of the fallopian tubes is left on either side of the ligation. If there is not enough remaining tissue, the tubes cannot be safely reconnected. The medical records from the initial procedure contain this information and should be given to the tubal reversal surgeon. If these records are not available, the doctor can laparoscopically examine the tubal tissue.
Endometriosis puts a patient at risk for an ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg attaches to uterine tissue in the fallopian tubes. Tubal reversal does not eliminate this risk, so if you have had endometriosis in the past, you may not be a candidate for tubal reversal.
An existing pelvic infection would also make you a poor candidate for tubal reversal. The infection can spread to the incision site and sutures on the tubes.
Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome
While not generally recognized by doctors as a medical condition, post tubal ligation syndrome (PTLS) is a term that has been used to refer to potential negative outcomes and side effects of a tubal ligation. Symptoms include heavy or painful menstrual periods, severe headaches or migraines and sudden mood changes. Many women who have had PTLS symptoms have benefited from a tubal reversal.