Even if the tubal reversal surgery goes perfectly well, and the tube is open all the way through, there is no guarantee that the tube will work correctly. The fallopian tube has tiny hair-like cells called cilia that help to move the fertilized egg into the uterus. There is no way to control the function of the cilia at the time of surgery. Smoking does decrease the ability of the cilia to work correctly, as well as decreasing fertility rates in general.
One very important fact to consider after a tubal reversal procedure is the increased risk of ectopic, or tubal pregnancy. After a tubal ligation and then tubal reversal, the tube has been operated on twice and scar tissue can form that keeps the fertilized egg from moving through the tube correctly. It is mandatory that you seek early prenatal care from your local OB-GYN doctor as soon as you think you might be pregnant. You will need to have blood tests and ultrasound(s) done to be sure that your baby is growing in your uterus. I also recommend that you take folic acid, or folate, 0.4-1.0 mg (400-1000 mcg) daily. This has been proven to lower the chance of your baby having a neural tube defect, or spina bifida. It is important that you start this before you get pregnant to gain the benefit.
Patients who are severely overweight are very difficult to operate on -- the thickness of the abdominal wall interferes with surgery because the micro-instruments are not long enough to properly repair the tube. I am unable to operate on anyone with significant obesity. Please include your height and weight with your letter of introduction. If your weight is questionable according to standard insurance tables, I may ask for pictures of you in your underwear or bathing suit from front and side view to see if the surgery can be done.
We are able to perform tubal reversals on patients with an allergy to latex. If you have a latex allergy please let us know so we can make accommodations.
If you have had an endometrial ablation, you are not a candidate for a tubal reversal. The endometrium (lining of the uterus) is damaged so much that pregnancy can be dangerous for you and the baby.
There is a chance of complications with any type of surgery, although the risk associated with tubal reversals is low. Risks of surgery include bleeding, infection, and damage to internal organs such as the bowel, bladder, ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), nerves, and blood vessels. There can also be a reaction to the medication used for anesthesia. If bleeding is excessive, a blood transfusion may be necessary. In extremely rare cases, death could occur as a result of a surgical complication. These are all things that you need to be aware of, but remember that tubal reversal surgery is associated with a low risk of complications. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to ask, either by e-mail or when you come in for your pre-operative visit.
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.