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Tubal Reversal Surgery - Details

Tubal reversal surgery is performed through an incision in the lower abdomen. This incision is called a laparotomy and is similar to the incision made for a cesarean section. In most cases, the incision can be kept fairly small and is located towards the top of the pubic hair line. Instruments are used to hold the skin open so the fallopian tubes are visible.

The fallopian tubes are viewed through a microscope or magnified glasses. The inside of a fallopian tube is very thin and would be difficult to see without magnification. Once the fallopian tubes are positioned in the field and can be seen clearly, the reversal procedure can begin. The area where the tubes have been interrupted is freed from any surrounding scar tissue.

Clips, rings, or bands are removed. Removing these items will not restore the tube to normal function. Oftentimes, the tube in this area is damaged and creates an area that remains blocked even after the clip or ring is removed. Tubes that were burned will have a missing segment of tube and the remaining ends are blunt and healed over. To overcome the blocked ends of the tubes, an electrosurgical device is used to remove the outer covering of the tube ends. A scalpel or scissors are used to expose the inner opening or lumen of the tube.

Sutures are used to bring the cut ends of the tube close together. Very fine suture is used to sew the inner opening of the tube together. The outer covering is then closed to add stability and protection to the delicate inner tube. The tube is tested with dye to make sure it is open and working well. The same process is repeated for the tube on the opposite side.

The entire procedure usually lasts 1-1.5 hrs but may be longer if there is considerable scar tissue or other problems complicating the repair. Most women are able to go home the same day. Your doctor should review the risks and potential complications along with the possible different outcomes from the surgery.