Tubal Ligation is one of the most common methods of birth control worldwide. It is a very effective way to achieve permanent infertility as this surgery has a negligible failure rate of only 0.4% per year.
This process is often called as “tying the tube” which involves closing the fallopian tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. But actually the fallopian tubes are tied, cut, clamped or non-surgically blocked. Thus the sperms are prevented from joining the unfertilized eggs.
Women decide on tubal ligation as a method of birth control but later some circumstances make them change their minds. Then they want to get pregnant which is not possible without another surgery. This operation is known as a reversal of tubal ligation or microsurgical tubal reanastomosis.
After tubal ligation two fallopian tube segments still remain i.e. the proximal tubal segment that emerges from the uterus and the distal tubal segment that ends with the fimbria next to the ovary. In the reversal surgery, these separated parts of the fallopian tube are connected.
This surgery uses very thin micro suture to put the tubes back together. This operation is very similar to the delicate repair of small blood vessels or nerves that plastic surgeons perform in cases of hand injury.
This makes the surgery tedious and may take one to two hours to complete. Due to the length of operating time, patients are advised to remain under monitoring for two days in the hospital to recover. Additionally patients are restricted from lifting and exercising for almost two weeks.
More than two thirds of women who are operated for tubal ligation reversal get pregnant within a year. There have been reports many women got pregnant within six months after the procedure.
Success of this surgery relies upon several factors like the amount of fallopian tube remaining after the sterilization and on the expertise of the surgeon. So you should always give the expertise of the surgeon more importance than the fee that he/she is charging.
This surgery has health risks, including risks due to anesthesia. Ectopic pregnancy is also possible and is very dangerous and more common among pregnancies occurring after surgical reversal of female sterilization. Another disadvantage of this surgery is that it is very expensive and is rarely covered under health insurance.