Tubes Tied Reversal | What to Expect, Success Rates, and Recovery Process

What is Tube Tied Reversal?

Surgeons also refer to tubal ligation as tube tied reversal. It is a common form of permanent birth control. But some women may change their minds later in life and want to have a baby again. For these women, tubal ligation reversal offers an option to restore fertility and address reproductive health.

This post covers the basics of tubal reversal, from successful pregnancy rate to alternatives and costs, with input from board-certified ob/gyns and fertility specialists.

Tube Tied Reversal

Can You Get Your Tubes Untied to Have a Baby?

You can get your tubes tied or untied to get pregnant and have a baby. Success depends on the type of tubal ligation you have, your age, and overall health. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 50-80% of women who have tubal ligation procedures or reversal can get pregnant.

What’s the Difference Between Tubal Ligation and Tubal Reversal?

Tubal ligation is a permanent form of birth control. Where the tubes or ovaries are cut, tied, or blocked so eggs or partner’s sperm can’t reach the uterus. Tubal reversal is a surgical procedure to restore fertility in pregnant, by reconnecting the blocked segments of the fallopian tubes.

How Long is the Tubal Reversal Surgery?

Tubal reversal surgery time varies but generally takes about 2-3 hours. This includes prep time, surgery time, and initial recovery time after surgery.

Tubal Ligation Reversal


Tube Tied Reversal – Candidacy and Eligibility

Who is a Good Candidate for Tubal Reversal?

A good candidate for tubal reversal is typically a woman who is in good overall health, has had a previous tubal ligation and desires to become pregnant. Factors that enhance candidacy include having adequate tubal length after ligation. In addition, a uterus, good ovarian function, enough sperm, healthy pregnancy, and the absence of other fertility issues. Another important factor is the ovarian reserve, which helps determine the likelihood of a successful pregnancy after the procedure.

Can All Tubal Ligations Be Reversed?

Not all tubal ligations can be reversed. The success of the surgical reversal depends on the type of tubal ligation procedure performed and the surgical techniques used.

Can Fallopian Tubes Further Damage During the Procedure?

No, procedures that involve minimal damage to the fallopian tubes. Such as minimally invasive ones using clips or rings. They are more likely to be successfully reversed. Compared to those that involve extensive cutting or burning of the fallopian tubes themselves.

What Types of Tubal Ligation Cannot Be Reversed?

Some types of tubal ligation are difficult or impossible to reverse. For instance, those where a large portion of the fallopian tube removed.

Tubal occlusion, where the tubes are blocked, also makes reversal challenging. Moreover, extensively damaged by methods such as cauterization or segmental resection. However, in such cases, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be a more viable option for achieving pregnancies.

Tubal Ligation Reversal

What are the Requirements for a Tubal Reversal?

Requirements for tubal reversal include a thorough medical evaluation and a preoperative assessment. To further assess overall health, a review of the medical history, and specific fertility tests.

Subsequently, a detailed report from the original, tubal ligation reversal procedure. Additionally provides valuable information for planning the next tubal sterilization reversal surgery.

What Factors Affect the Success of the Surgery?

Several factors can affect the success of a tubal ligation reversal reconnect a tubal ligation reversal. Including the woman’s age, and the type of tubal ligation originally performed.

Furthermore, the length of the remaining fallopian tubes, and the presence of any other fertility issues. Younger women with more healthy tubal tissue and fallopian tubes remaining after ligation tend to have higher success rates. Fertility outcomes also influenced by many factors. As they play a crucial role in determining the likelihood of achieving pregnancy after the procedure.

What Medical Conditions Might Disqualify Someone from Tubal Reversal?

Certain medical conditions might disqualify someone from tubal reversal, including severe endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, significant damage to the fallopian tubes, or a history of pelvic surgery.

Additionally, many women with chronic health conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension, may not be suitable candidates for surgery.

Tubal Sterilization

Tube Tied Reversal – Procedure Details

Is Tubal Ligation Reversal a Major Surgery?

Surgeons consider tubal ligation reversal surgery a major surgery. It involves general anesthesia, and making small incisions in the uterus and abdomen. Furthermore, microsurgical techniques to reconnect the fallopian tubes require significant surgical expertise. Because it requires a thorough preoperative evaluation and carries some risks.

How Painful is a Tubal Reversal?

Pain levels vary among individuals. But most women experience moderate pain and discomfort after the surgery.

Although pain can manage with prescribed medications. Postoperative care is crucial in managing pain for a smooth recovery. Consequently, most patients can return to light activities within a week. Full recovery usually takes several weeks.

How Do You Reverse Tubal Sterilization?

Reversing involves several steps:

Anesthesia – The medical emergency team puts the patient under general anesthesia.

Incision – The surgeon makes a small incision in the lower abdomen.

Microsurgery – Using a microscope, the surgeon locates the blocked segments of the fallopian tubes and removes any obstructions with surgical precision.

Reconnection – Later, the surgeon connects the healthy ends of the tubes to the fallopian tubes using fine sutures.

Closure – The surgeon closes the incision with sutures. Then the patient shifts to a recovery area.

Tubal Ligation Reversal

Tube Tied Reversal – Success Rates

How Successful is Tubal Ligation Reversal?

Success rates for tubal ligation reversal vary based on factors. Such as the woman’s age, type of tubal ligation, and overall reproductive health. On average, successful pregnancy rates after tubal ligation reversal range from 50% to 80%. Reproductive success influenced by these factors and can significantly impact the overall success of the procedure.

However, success rates preventing pregnancy tend to be higher in women under 35 and lower in women over 40.

What are the Risks of the Surgery?

Infection – There is a risk of infection at the incision site.

Bleeding – Excessive bleeding can occur during or after the surgery.

Complications – Some patients may have adverse reactions to anesthesia.

Ectopic Pregnancy – There is a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy after tubal reversal during pregnancy.

Scar Tissue Formation – Scar tissue can form around the fallopian tubes during pregnancy, potentially blocking them again.

Success Rates of Tubes Tied Reversal Procedures

What is the Recovery Time After Reversal Surgery?

Recovery time after tubal reversal surgery typically ranges from 1 to 2 weeks. Most women can return to heavy lifting activities, including work, within 2 to 3 weeks.

Full recovery, including the return to normal activities, may take up to 6 weeks. During this time, it is important to keep follow-up appointment with the surgeon’s post-operative care instructions to ensure proper healing. The healing process is crucial during this period to achieve the best possible outcome.

How to Prepare for the Tubal Ligation Reversal Surgery?

Preoperative Evaluation

Before the surgery, the patient undergoes a thorough evaluation. Including a medical history review, physical examination, and fertility testing. Previous surgeries, current medications, and any chronic health conditions. The surgeon needs to assess risks and plan the procedure. 

Diagnostic Tests

Surgeons may perform blood work, pelvic ultrasound, and hysterosalpingogram (HSG) tests. To evaluate reproductive health and the condition of the fallopian tubes.

For further information check our Advanced GYN Center. Call us to inquire about the procedure details.

Picture of Dr. A. Christopher Ibikunle MD FACS
Dr. A. Christopher Ibikunle MD FACS
Dr A. Christopher Ibikunle (MD, FACS) is a distinguished surgeon with a rich academic and clinical background. After completing his residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, he served as an Active Staff and Assistant Professor of Surgery. Currently, he is a Professor of Surgery at Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership and a Lead Preceptor for several institutions, including Morehouse University and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Chris is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, committed to advancing surgery and patient care.
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