The burning of fallopian tubes is a common form of tubal ligation in the United States. Many doctors prefer this method because of its ease and simplicity.
At Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center, we specialize in tubal reversal surgery and very often we are asked if burned tubes can be reversed.
We have discovered burned tubes can be easily reversed and that a more important question needs to be answered before considering the reversal of burned tubes.
Can Tubal Coagulation Be Reversed?
The phrase ‘burned tubes’ is a horrible phrase, which creates vivid images of fire, smoke, and total tubal destruction.
The more correct medical term for burning tubes is tubal coagulation. During a tubal coagulation procedure, electric current is used to cause necrosis (or death) of the cells exposed to the current. The tube is closed after the coagulation procedure; however, it is the healing process which causes permanent tubal closure. Although the tubal cells which have died from the procedure can not be regenerated, the blocked ends of the fallopian tube can be removed and the two tubal segments rejoined.
Tubal coagulation is reversible and natural pregnancy is possible after burned tube reversal.
Can You Get Pregnant With Burned Tubes?
Most people imagine burned tubes as the most effective tubal ligation procedure known to medical science. This is not true.
Pregnancy can happen after any tubal ligation procedure. This is generally referred to as tubal ligation failure. Getting pregnant after a tubal ligation can be a serious problem, because these pregnancies are high risk for an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Pregnancy can happen after any tubal ligation and even after having burned tubes.
Are Burnt Tubes Reversible?
Burnt tubes are reversible and we have considerable experience in this area. Most patients and doctors have a very negative impression of tubal coagulation (burned tubes) because it evokes horrible images of scarred and damaged fallopian tubes. Our experience suggests the burning of the tube is not a major concern. A more important question that should be answered before considering reversal is how much of each tube is burned?
Unlike some of the other tubal ligation methods, the tubal coagulation method is very dependent on the doctor. There is no one way to perform a tubal coagulation procedure. Some doctors will burn the tube once, most will burn the tube 2-3 times, and some will burn the tube multiple times. Multiple tubal burns that are widely spaced apart can cause serious damage to the fallopian tubes.
Most doctors will burn the tubes in 2-3 areas, but very close together. Others will apply multiple burns that are widely spaced apart. When multiple burns to the tube are applied widely spaced apart then this can cause fallopian tube degeneration and the tube may not be repairable. Since there is variability in how doctors perform the tubal coagulation procedure it is very important to have the operative note reviewed by us before considering a reversal of burned tubes.
Pregnant After Reversal of Burned Tubes: What Are The Chances?
Burned tubes can be reversed and the chances of getting pregnant after reversal of burned tubes is good. How do we know? We maintain an extensive pregnancy database with statistics on the chances of becoming pregnant after tubal reversal. We have followed over 5,000 women who have had tubal reversal. Of these a significant proportion of women underwent tubal coagulation procedures and, on average, the pregnancy success after reversal of burned tubes was 66%.
Burned tubes can be reversed and pregnancy after reversal of burned tubes is possible. For more information call and speak to a member of the Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center at (919) 968-4656 for free tubal reversal advice.
Submitted by Dr. Charles Monteith