You’re not alone if you’ve changed your mind since having a tubal sterilization operation. While tubal sterilization is meant to be the most effective and permanent form or birth control, rest assured frequently it can be reversed surgically. This is done through an outpatient and low-cost procedure called microsurgical tubal reanastomosis, or simply tubal reversal.
Although tubal reversal is more involved than sterilization, tubal patency can be achieved in more than 80 percent of women, with positive pregnancy rates exceeding 70 percent. (These success rates can vary based on where the patient’s tubes were cut, if scar tissue formed, the length of healthy fallopian tubes remaining, and other factors.) For patients who qualify*, this outpatient procedure requires the use of microsurgical techniques to view and reconnect the very delicate fallopian tubes through a small (2 ½-3 inch) incision, thus making the procedure somewhat time-intensive and tedious but scarring is kept to a minimum. Afterwards, patients can return home the same day with minor pain and restrictions.
If you are weighing your options of tubal reversal versus IVF, know that each offers specific advantages. After a tubal reversal, frequently no fertility drugs are needed to get pregnant, which lowers the multiple pregnancy rate to 2 percent. This same rate is in excess of 25 percent with in vitro fertilization. Plus, once tubal reversal is performed, a couple is free to conceive more than one child without having to repeat the tubal reversal procedure. However, for other couples who may be intending to conceive only once, or may have sperm problems in the male or pelvic adhesions (scar tissue) in the female, IVF may be a better option.
Perhaps the most important factor in determining the success of a tubal reversal is the experience and know-how of the surgeon. Our Advanced Reproductive Technology staff is expertly qualified in all facets of tubal reversal and other fertility procedures.
*To qualify for outpatient tubal reversal, a patient must be younger than 40 and have a relatively normal body mass index (BMI) under 27 kg/m2 with a normal semen analysis (sperm count) of her partner. It is also important for potential tubal reversal patients to talk with their doctor about their likelihood of success with tubal reversal, and receive a thorough fertility evaluation. Estimated cost for this procedure is $6,700. However, for patients who are larger than BMI of 27, inpatient tubal reversal, which involves a larger incision and overnight stay at the hospital and thus carries a higher cost may become necessary. Estimated cost for this procedure is $11,000-$12,000. Sometimes other procedures, such as in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI (both of which are offered through Wake Forest University Center for Reproductive Medicine) or adoption may be better options.
Please contact our Financial Counselor at (336) 716-1269 for additional information.