Many times this request was followed by the statement, “And you can throw them away when you are done!” Very often this was an emphatic request as I was counseling them about tubal ligation.
Since becoming a tubal reversal expert, I now see what often happens after tubes are tied and I am now frequently asked,
“Can cut, tied, and burned tubes be reversed?”
Cut Tied and Burnt Tubes: What it means?
In the past, many patients asked me to cut, tie, and burn their tubes. Now was this always done as they requested and in that order? The answer is no.
When patients ask for permanent sterilization (to have their tubes tied), the majority of patients have a very limited understanding of all the surgical procedures to block fallopian tubes. Many patients were just asking me to make it so they never became unintentionally pregnant again. The words ‘cut, tie, and burnt’ is a lay person’s phrase telling me to do everything conceivably known to prevent a future, unwanted pregnancy.
Very often when a doctor tells a patient, ” I cut, tied, and burned your tubes. You should never be able to get pregnant again.”, then they are just responding to a lay person’s request by using lay person’s language to tell them they did everything possible to prevent pregnancy and avoid a tubal ligation failure.
Burned, Tied and Cut Tubes: How is it done?
Fallopian tubes are occasionally burned (coagulated) to close them; however, tubes are never just tied and never just cut because this would not work very well and the chance of failure would be higher.
Tubal clips and tubal rings close off the tube and cause the tubes to heal closed. Clips and rings do not come undone. They can be inappropriately placed, but they do not come undone. They may slip off the tube, but the tube has healed closed by the time this occurs.
Coagulation, more commonly known as ‘burning’, causes the tubes to heal close as well. Any tube that is simply cut will bleed and can cause a complication. When a doctor cuts a tube they will always place a suture around the cut ends. This is where the phrase to ‘tie tubes’ comes from. The ‘tying of the fallopian tube’ is done only to prevent the cut tube from bleeding and also to accelerate the tube healing closed. Tied tubes can not simply be tied to cause blockage.
Can Tubes Regrow, Can Tubes Reconnect, Can Tubes Come Undone?
Tubes can not reattach, they can not reconnect, nor can they regrow. Tubes will never come undone without a surgeon repairing them. Tubes can heal incompletely with a fistula, but they will never reconnect by themselves. A fistula is when the end of the tube heals mostly closed but leaves a very small opening. This small opening can result in a pregnancy. Don’t count on this type of tubal failure if you want to become pregnant because many of these pregnancies will be ectopic (tubal) pregnancies.
Are Clipped, Tied And Cut Tubes Reversible?
If cut, tied and burned tubes are reversible then clipped, tied and cut tubes are also reversible. Most tubes which have been clipped, tied, and cut (and even burned) are reversible. To be more certain, women should obtain their operative reports for their tubal reversal specialists to review.
The only tubes that can not be reversed are those that have been thrown in the trash!
If you understand that throwing fallopian tubes into the trash is a ridiculous concept then you should now understand we often use the short cuts of lay person’s language to convey simple understandings of complex ideas.
Most tubes whether cut, tied, burnt, burned, or burnt can be reversed; however, if they were thrown in the trash then you are majorly out of luck!
Contact the reversal staff of Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center for more information about tubal ligation reversal.
Submitted by Dr. Charles Monteith