Tubal ligation is a type of female sterilization, a surgery that "ties” a woman’s fallopian tubes. The goal is to prevent eggs from traveling from the ovaries to the uterus, preventing pregnancy.
One or two small incisions are made in the belly and a long, thin device similar to a small telescope (laparoscope) cuts, seals, bands, clamps, or ties the fallopian tubes shut. Once the incisions are stitched closed, the patient can return home a few hours later.
Tubal ligation is almost 100% effective, but there is a slight risk of becoming pregnant after the procedure. That can occur if the tubes grow back together, which is very rare.
Reversing the Procedure
It is possible in some cases to reverse tubal ligation, but that involves major surgery requiring a couple of days in a hospital. There is a good chance that a tubal ligation may not be reversed. It depends on the method of tubal ligation, how long ago the procedure was, and whether the tubes are too damaged to undo it.
Reversing a tubal ligation increases the likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy when compared to patients who have not had previous tubal surgery. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition.
Discuss your birth control options with one of our women’s health specialists, Dr. James (Jim) DeRossitt or Dr. Robert (Bob) Chin at the OB/GYN Clinics of East Arkansas Medical Group.