Tubal recanalization

Many women, to prevent conception, opt for tubal ligation as a definitive contraceptive method. But many of them regret this procedure a few years later; they may have a new partner with whom they want to have more children, a loss of a child, or their lives have taken a turn in which they now think of being mothers again.

It is believed that 6 to 8% of women who underwent a tubal ligation reconsider their decision over time. The numbers may be even higher, considering that many couples do not know the process of tubal recanalization and therefore believe that the previous sterilization is irreversible.

How is tubal recanalization performed?

Reconstruction of the Fallopian tubes through surgery is an effective method. This can be achieved through open surgery, with an incision like the ones to perform a cesarean section or laparoscopic surgery, done by small incisions of 5 millimeters in the abdomen for the introduction of surgical tweezers and a lens, which connects to a video screen that allows the physician to see and manipulate the organs inside the pelvis.

The most important thing a couple should know before submitting to a tubal recanalization procedure is that it has several conditions to ensure its success. Some of them are:

  • The woman must be less than 37 years old.
  • Tubal ligation must have happened less than a decade ago.
  • The method used in tubal ligation should be considered because, in some cases, the physician makes a section (or cut) of a large part of the Fallopian tube, which makes it very difficult to reconnect both ends of it.

In the hands of skilled and well-trained personnel, the possibility of the tubes being permeable and functional again is approximately 50 to 60%. If this is achieved, the chance for a spontaneous pregnancy becomes good.

Sometimes the tubes do not recover good functionality or remain obstructed despite the attempt to reconstruct them. This usually happens when they are significantly deteriorated because of the technique used for ligation, in which an extended portion of the tube has been resected or cauterized.

Generally, the recanalization of the Fallopian tubes is a simple, ambulatory process with minimal risks for the patient and a rapid recovery rate.

It should be noted that after tubal reconstruction, there is an increased risk of having an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterine cavity) in the Fallopian tubes because the blockage may occur in the duct or abnormalities affecting the transport of the embryo in its usual route through the Fallopian tubes, due to the healing process.

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