Tubal Reversal Procedures
There are 3 types of tubal reversal procedures:
- anastomosis – (today’s blog topic)
Anastomosis of Fallopian Tubes
Anastomosis connects two body parts. Tubotubal anastomosis is connecting two segments of the fallopian tube. Tubotubal anastomosis is correct medical terminology, but it is also called tubal anastomosis for short. Bilateral tubal anastomosis means that both tubes are repaired by the anastomosis technique. The anastomosis sites can be specified for each fallopian tube. They may be different for the two sides. For example, a patient may have a right isthmic-ampullary tubotubal anastomosis and a left ampullary-ampullary tubal anastomosis. Sometimes, only one fallopian tube is repairable with the anastomosis technique. This is called unilateral tubotubal anastomosis.
Bilateral Tubal Anastomosis
Most tubal ligation operations separate the fallopian tube into two segments. Bilateral tubotubal anastomosis, therefore, is the most common tubal reversal procedure. Bilateral tubal anastomosis accounts for 90% of the tubal reversal procedures at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center.
How I Perform Tubal Anastomosis
After opening the blocked ends of the two tubal segments, I pass a flexible stent or thread through the tubal lumen or opening of the two segments until it reaches the uterine cavity. This ensures that the fallopian tube is open from the uterine cavity to its fimbrial end and that the tubal segments align properly. A suture placed in the connective tissue, just beneath the fallopian tube segments, draws the tubal segments together.
The muscular and outer layers of the tubal segments are connected with microsurgical sutures. Care is taken to avoid suturing the inner layer of the fallopian tube. Suture material is a foreign body. Stitches placed in the inner tubal lining can cause scarring inside the tubal lumen. When the two tubal segments are joined together, the stent is withdrawn from the fimbrial end of the tube.
Watch The Operation
The images above illustrate the principles of tubotubal anastomosis. For more details, you can watch the operation as it is being performed. A short video clip online gives an overview. If you want to watch the entire tubal anastomosis procedure, you can order a videotape or dvd of Tubal Ligation Reversal by Dr. Berger as shown on TV by the Discovery and Learning Channels. Watching the full length video will help you better understand how I perform tubotubal anastomosis as outpatient tubal reversal surgery.