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Robotic Tubal Reversal

Learn more about the differences between robotic tubal reversal and IVF

Tubal ligation accounts for nearly 28% of all contraception methods. Of the women who chose this contraception, 20% to 30% regret having had a tubal ligation. Women may struggle with the decision they made to have permanent sterilization, but at Texas Fertility Center you have options for restoring fertility. Some patients are interested in a robotic tubal reversal, but our Austin fertility surgeons no longer offer this procedure.  We have found that in vitro fertilization (IVF) tends to be a better and faster way to achieve pregnancy than tubal ligation reversal surgery.

The evolution of surgical approaches has given reproductive surgeons much greater dexterity and visualization during surgical procedures. However, even with advances in the field, not all women are good candidates for robotic reversal surgery. Additionally, even patients who appear to be good candidates may not find success with the procedure. In these cases, IVF is often the best family-building option.

Robotic tubal reversal is a complex procedure that isn’t always successful

Robotic surgery to reverse tubal ligation involves the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. During this procedure, the surgeon sits at a robotic console. There, the surgeon controls three or four robotic arms to remove the scarred portion of the fallopian tubes.

After reconnecting the fallopian tubes with fine surgical thread, the surgeon will confirm the success of the surgery by flushing dye through the tubes. If the tubes are open, the dye should spill out the ends. Open (patent) tubes will once again allow sperm to access and fertilize an ovulated egg in the fallopian tubes.

Because the fallopian tubes are very delicate structures, robotic tubal reversal isn’t always successful, even in the hands of the most-skilled surgeon. Many factors can influence whether the procedure is a success, including age, ovarian reserve, sperm health and the surgical method used for tubal ligation. Even in cases where a patient appears to be a good candidate for the tubal reversal, the procedure may not result in a successful pregnancy. When this happens, our Austin fertility surgeons have found that IVF is the best option.

The benefits of IVF over tubal reversal

IVF is a highly effective fertility treatment for patients with tubal fertility issues, including patients who have had tubal ligation. Because it isn’t a surgery, IVF doesn’t come with the same risks and recovery time that are associated with robotic tubal reversal.

Additionally, tubal ligation reversal surgery can increase the risk of having a dangerous ectopic pregnancy. This is a pregnancy in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. In contrast, IVF does not have this same increased risk.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about your options for welcoming a baby after having tubal ligation. Our Austin fertility surgeons can help you explore your options.

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