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Tubal reversal surgery is a procedure performed to reattach the two separated segments of fallopian tube in a woman who has previously undergone a tubal ligation. The goal of the surgery is to reapproximate the healthy tubal segments with as little scar formation as possible in order to restore a woman’s fertility. The surgery is performed using microsurgical techniques to suture the two segments of tube together. The surgery is generally done via an abdominal incision, and thus most women require a hospital stay of at least 1-3 nights.
For women who have undergone a previous tubal ligation and who desire another pregnancy, there are two options to consider. The first is a tubal reversal surgery. The second is to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), where the fallopian tubes are, in essence, bypassed.
For women who are considering a tubal reversal surgery, there are four important factors that your physician will discuss with you:
The success rates of tubal reversal surgery is approximately 75 percent in women younger than age 35. As mentioned above, success rates decline with increasing age as a result of the natural decline in fertility.
Risks associated with tubal reversal surgery are two-fold. First, there are risks related to the surgery itself, which include bleeding, infection, damage to nearby organs that may require further surgery to repair, and anesthetic risks. After the surgery is complete, there is an increased risk of an ectopic or “tubal” pregnancy. The chances of this occurring are about 10 to 15 percent. Generally, women who undergo tubal reversal must be followed very carefully in the beginning of their pregnancy to ensure that it is not an ectopic pregnancy.