Whether you chose to have a tubal ligation because you didn’t want to have children or because you felt your family was already complete, you probably thought that you’d made an irreversible decision. But if a change of partners or some other major life change leaves you wishing you never had your tubes tied, you may have a second shot at motherhood. Board-certified surgeon Dr. Dennis Streeter in Merrillville, Indiana, helps women restore their fertility with tubal ligation reversal surgery. To learn more, call or book your appointment online today.
A tubal ligation, commonly referred to as “having your tubes tied,” is a surgical procedure that blocks or cuts your fallopian tubes so eggs can no longer travel through them to be fertilized by sperm following unprotected sex.
Also known as permanent female birth control or sterilization, tubal ligation can actually often be reversed by surgically connecting the separated segments of the fallopian tubes, allowing eggs to once again travel through the tubes and join with sperm.
Tubal ligation reversal is most successful for women whose sterilization procedure caused limited damage to the fallopian tubes. Tubal ligation that’s done with clips or rings, for example, results in less fallopian tube damage than sterilization that uses scarring to seal off the tubes. In fact, procedures done with scarring usually cannot be reversed.
In addition to considering the type of tubal ligation you had, Dr. Streeter also uses several factors to determine if you’re a good candidate for tubal ligation reversal, including:
If you’re shorter than 5’4” and you weigh more than 200 pounds, you’ll probably need to lose weight before Dr. Streeter can perform the surgery. That’s because the surgery is more likely to be successful if you’re at a healthy body weight.
Dr. Streeter performs the tubal ligation reversal procedure using general anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center.
During the surgery, Dr. Streeter makes a three- to four-inch incision at the hairline in your lower abdomen. Once he can see your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, he removes blocked sections of the fallopian tube and repairs the tube with tiny absorbable stitches.
If too much of one or both of your fallopian tubes were removed during your tubal ligation procedure, Dr. Streeter may not be able to complete reattachment.
The procedure itself requires two days, as you’ll need to stay at the hospital overnight following the operation.
After your tubal ligation reversal, you should avoid any heavy lifting (nothing greater than 20 pounds) for three weeks. You’ll also need to avoid driving a car for one week, and abstain from sexual intercourse for three weeks.
Following the procedure, you’ll be given medication for nausea and pain as needed; you may shower within 24 hours of surgery. If you haven’t had a bowel movement within the first three days, milk of magnesia may help. It takes 28 days for your stitches to fully dissolve.
Tubal ligation reversal has a relatively high rate of success. If you don’t become pregnant after actively trying for nine months, you may need a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to assess your fertility.