Tubal Ligation Reversal Procedures are Possible for Women Who are Reconsidering Having Children

Life is all about change. Decisions made early in your life are sometimes rethought in later years. Choosing tubal ligation is meant to be a permanent family planning option, but changing circumstances may turn this decision into a regret.

However, in the hands of infertility specialist Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG, your birth control choice may not be as permanent as you suspect. Many women with tubal ligations are candidates for minimally invasive reversal surgery. If you’re re-thinking an earlier decision, contact Dr. Zikria’s office to arrange a consultation.

Understanding tubal ligation

As a sterilization procedure, tubal ligation creates a barrier that blocks the path of both eggs and sperm, assuring that fertilization can’t occur. The targets for this barrier are the fallopian tubes, a pair of passageways between the ovaries and uterus.

“Having your tubes tied” is the common way to describe the procedure, though suturing isn’t commonly used. It’s more likely that clips or rings will seal off the cut ends of the tubes. Other systems encourage scarring within the fallopian tubes to create a blockage. 

Regardless of the method, once the procedure creates a permanent barrier, you’re no longer able to get pregnant, with only tiny failure-rate percentages. Tubal ligation is among the most reliable birth control methods.

Tubal ligation reversal

The concept behind tubal ligation reversal is simple. Reattaching the cut ends, or removing the blocked section of fallopian tubes would, in theory, restore the pathways for conception. However, in practice, it’s not always that easy.

The best candidates for tubal ligation reversal are generally younger with plenty of healthy and undamaged fallopian tube tissue remaining. The type of tubal ligation originally done plays a role in successful outcomes. Clip or ring procedures tend to be easier to reverse, while electrocauterization methods have less chance of success. Sterilization systems, including Essure or Adiana, are typically considered nonreversible.

Minimally invasive reversal surgery

While there’s no evidence that minimally invasive tubal ligation reversal surgery is more successful than open surgery, the benefits of minimally invasive surgery make it the choice for many of Dr. Zikria’s patients.

A big disadvantage of open surgery comes in the form of damage to tissue surrounding your fallopian tubes. Since an incision must be large enough for a surgeon to work, you may spend more time recovering from the incision than the tube repair.

Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery instead uses one or more “keyhole” incisions, small openings for fiber optic cameras and special surgical tools. These small incisions provide benefits such as:

Dr. Zikria specializes in minimally invasive tubal ligation reversal using laparoscopic techniques and a surgical carbon dioxide laser. With 40 years of experience with tubal ligation reversals, Dr. Zikria has refined his techniques over the decades to improve success rates and reduce recovery time. You may even be a candidate for combined procedures to enhance your fertility chances.

Contact Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG at 408-290-8289 to schedule your personal consultation. Your crucial fertility decision may not be as permanent as you think.

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