Reversal Sterilization

What is reversal sterilization?

It is a surgical procedure that attempts to restore fertility to women after a tubal ligation. Success rates for female sterilisation reversal are about 50% to 60%. The sooner the operation for reversal takes place after the original operation, the greater the chance of future pregnancy.

Why is it done?

By rejoining the separated segments of fallopian tube, tubal reversal may give women the chance to become pregnant again.

What to expect after surgery?

Female reversal surgery requires three to six hours of surgery, up to one week in the hospital, and two to three weeks of recovery at home. The wound is closed in layers; a single skin stitch will be removed after 5 days.

Most male reversal surgery takes one to two hours in the operating room, several days in the hospital, and several days of recovery at home.

What are the risks of the surgery?

  • Tubal reversal is one of the safest gynecologic operations. There is a risk of tubal (ectopic) pregnancy following this or any tubal operation. Therefore, it is necessary to perform a very early evaluation to rule out tubal pregnancy in a woman who has undergone reversal of sterilization.
  • Injury to bladder or intestines
  • Infection
  • Serious bleeding is very uncommon, and occur in less than 1/100 surgeries.

What are the alternatives to the surgery?

The only other option for pregnancy after tubal ligation is in vitro fertilization (IVF). Tubal reversal surgery is the better choice for most women. Tubal reversal allows for the chance of pregnancy to occur naturally each month. With IVF, each time pregnancy is attempted medications must be administered by injection and eggs retrieved from the ovaries. Based on national IVF statistics, the pregnancy rate is higher after tubal reversal than IVF.