There are several factors to consider in the success of tubal reversal surgery. The fallopian tube functions to pick up an egg after it has been released from the ovary, and then provides the place where the egg and sperm join. The tube then helps to move the fertilized egg into the uterus, or womb, where it can implant and grow.
For a tubal reversal to be possible, the fimbria of the tube must still be present. The fimbria is the end of the tube near the ovary that resembles a flower, and helps to pick up the egg after it is released; this is one of the reasons why I request the reports from your tubal ligation surgery. These reports include the operative and pathology reports. If these indicate that the fimbria has been removed, there is no way to restore the function of the fallopian tube.
Another factor to consider is how much of the fallopian tube was removed or damaged when it was tied or burned. Even though I carefully review each operative and pathology report, I do not know the exact condition of the tube until I can look directly at it during surgery.
In about one to two percent of cases that I have performed, I have found during the surgery that there is not enough tube remaining to perform a tubal reversal.
Success rates improve if the tube is at least four centimeters long after anastamosis; however, I will put shorter segments of tube together as long as the fimbria are present and there is enough tube to sew back together. Other factors determining success are the age of the patient and the length of time since the tubal ligation.
You can read comments from patients that have become pregnant following a tubal reversal procedure.
Lisa Williams Rogers, M.D., received her undergraduate degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and her medical degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis. While in medical school, she received the surgery award for her class. Her residency in obstetrics and gynecology was completed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1991. She is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She is also a member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Baptist Medical and Dental Fellowship.