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What You Need to Know About Tubal Reversal

What You Need to Know About Tubal Reversal

Getting your “tubes tied” (medically known as tubal ligation or female sterilization) is a relatively permanent form of birth control. 

By tying, cutting, or blocking your fallopian tubes, the procedure prevents eggs from moving to your uterus with ovulation and also prevents sperm from reaching the egg to fertilize it. The process is 99% effective, and in most cases, it can’t be undone.

Sometimes, though, a woman changes her mind after the procedure — what then? Board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Hany H Ahmed, who performs tubal ligations for his patients in Houston, Texas, knows that situations change, which is why he also performs tubal reversals

While there’s no guarantee you’ll get pregnant following the reversal, Dr. Ahmed does have a 98% success rate among those who are eligible and undergo the second surgery. Here’s what you need to know about tubal reversal.

What is tubal reversal?

During a tubal ligation reversal, Dr. Ahmed unblocks the fallopian tubes and/or reconnects the ends of the tubes to each other. Ideally, this allows eggs to move through the tubes again and sperm to travel up the tubes to fertilize an egg, so you can get pregnant without further medical assistance.

Before he agrees to do the reversal, Dr. Ahmed considers a number of factors:

Women under 35 with at least three inches of healthy tube have the most success. Some types of sterilization, though, such as the Essure (discontinued after 2019) or Adiana (discontinued after 2012) systems, aren't considered reversible.

What does tubal reversal involve?

If Dr. Ahmed gives the thumbs up for a tubal reversal, he performs the procedure under general anesthesia, either in an outpatient surgical center or in a hospital. 

He makes a small incision near the pubic hair line so he can insert a small camera to view the internal structures, followed by tiny instruments that he uses to remove the rings or clips from the ligation.

Next, he reconnects the ends of the fallopian tubes with dissolvable stitches, and finally, he sutures the incision. The entire process takes about 2-3 hours, depending on the amount of damage and length of tube left. Most women go home the same day. 

And because the procedure is minimally invasive, it reduces the amount of bleeding and pain, decreases the risk of infection, and shortens your recovery time.

Though the risk of complications from the surgery are small, they’re real and can include:

In cases where tubal ligation reversal isn't successful, alternative options for getting pregnant include intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Ask Dr. Ahmed about which process he thinks is right for you.

If you’ve had your tubes tied but now want to become pregnant, tubal reversal is a possibility. To learn more about the procedure and whether it’s right for you, contact Dr. Ahmed’s office to schedule a consultation by calling 713-489-3348, or book your appointment online.

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