Tag Archives: Filshie clip

Meet Andrea…   October 9th, 2008

Tubal Reversal Patient AndreaMy name is Andrea, and I’m a 31 year-old home schooling mother to four children.

I’m married to my partner in Christ, Jeff, who is 36. Jeff has his own CPA practice here near our home. We live in beautiful Coeur d’ Alene Idaho, where we are a very close knit Christian family.

In 2005, against the advice of my doctor and with my husband cautioning against it, I had a Filshie clip tubal ligation at the planned c-section birth of my daughter. My doctor used clips because of my age at the time of tubal ligation, as well as the fact that he believed I would want more kids based on my nature.

Soon after the birth of my daughter, I began experiencing symptoms that independently wouldn’t have been alarming, but when gathered together, had me very worried and feeling terrible. Early after the birth, I felt very sad about not having more children. At times I thought the symptoms were just because I was sad about ending my fertility. Now I know they are separate, as well as the desire to continue to have more children, even if you already have “more than normal”, is a God given desire, and NOT something BAD.As my symptoms began to mount, I began a journal of NEW symptoms for me. While one or two of these may not be abnormal, each one of these was new for me, and together made a host of symptoms.

· Period returned 3 weeks after post-partum bleeding, despite breastfeeding full time.    The earliest I had a period while breastfeeding before was 8 months!

· Cyclical migraines or cluster headaches. Typically, one in the week before my period, one upon my period leaving, and one mid-cycle. Each took up to 4 days to clear completely, and each required prescription medication. Nausea and vomiting would accompany without treatment.

· First time I couldn’t lose my baby weight through breastfeeding, diet and exercise.

· Highly emotional, and easily brought to tears or sadness.

· Extremely dry skin.

· Mid-cycle cramping and breast tenderness.

· Terrible cramping for 1-2 days of menstruation, with moderate cramping before bleeding starts, with light cramping entire period. I’m a very active woman with high pain tolerance. This cramping was enough to nearly bring me to tears.

· Bleeding so severely, I would soak a pad in an hour. My doctor suspected menstrual anemia.

· Bleeding sometimes mid-cycle. Spotting would begin on CD 23-24 and continue through 28 when heavy period would start. Bleeding would last 7 full days, with spotting another 2-3 at the end.

· Persistent yeast infections, presumably from being “damp” due to having to wear pads much of the month to catch unexpected flow.

When looking at this journal, I sought the advice of my OB/Gyn and family physician. Both doctors acknowledged tubal ligation can and often does cause painful and heavy periods. However, my family physician went a step further. She conveyed that she had heard numerous cases of women having severe problems following tubal ligation, and was fully on board in my seeking a reversal. She did hormone screening and other blood work, and my OB/Gyn performed a pelvic ultrasound to rule out endometriosis, infections, fibroids, cancers and cysts. Both doctors gave me a clean bill of health, with no other cause for my new problems. Both doctors wrote to my insurance company, requesting payment for a tubal reversal on the sole basis of Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome (PTLS).

The insurance company, a national and well-known provider, wrote back these words:

“Although a tubal ligation reversal is medically necessary for the health of the insured, tubal reversals are not covered as the code falls under fertility treatment which is excluded. *Named insurance company* will authorize payment for treatments of hormone therapy, ablation, D&C and hysterectomy.”

Obviously, at 29 years old and also seriously mourning the loss of my fertility, these were not acceptable treatments for the physical manifestations of my tubal ligation.

We began the process of searching out the best doctor to perform a tubal ligation reversal, and saving the funds to do so. Some local physician’s, including my own, perform tubal ligation reversal. However, I was unable to feel satisfied about the outcome since none maintained accurate PTLS relief and pregnancy statistics based on their own work. Doctor’s in the Seattle area also do tubal ligation reversal, as well as many other cities in the nation. The local doctor’s were going to cost us about $12,000. Even with travel from Northern Idaho, Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center was a more affordable, and a more highly skilled facility.

Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome Series

This is the ninth article in our fourteen part series on PTLS and associated medical conditions. The first article, Pain After Tubes Tied: A Symptom of Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome?, introduces the most common symptoms some women attribute to their tubal ligation.

Readers can also read Andrea’s after surgery follow-up story: Andrea After Tubal Ligation Reversal Surgery. In addition to telling us how she has done after her tubal ligation reversal, she also has some exciting news to share!

Our next several articles will present personal stories of some of our patients who have suffered from worsening menstrual, physical, and emotional symptoms after surgical sterilization procedures ( women who had their tubes tied).

We invite readers to join our Tubal Reversal Message board and discuss and share personal experiences with tubal ligation. We also have a dedicated PTLS forum for readers to share experiences of worsening symptoms after tubal ligation procedures.

Success of Reversing Tied Tubes by Dr. Monteith   September 18th, 2008

We are interrupting our 14 part Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome (PTLS) blog series to announce the first reported Monteith tubal reversal pregnancies and the arrival of the Monteith Miracle Tubal Reversal baby shirts!

Dr. Monteith’s Success at Reversing Tied Tubes

Dr. Monteith with Tubal Reversal Nurses at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center.

Dr. Charles Monteith started working full time as a tubal reversal specialist on July 21st 2008 at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center. We have received four pregnancy reports from patients during his first two weeks of reversing tied tubes.  His tubal reversal pregnancies have started to roll in!

The First Pregnancies

These four patients are representative of the patient population Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center and they come from all across the United States. They have had different types of tubal ligations and tubal lengths measuring from 3 to 8.5 cms.

Alaska (Falope ring tubal ligation)
New York (Bipolar cautery)
North Carolina (Bipolar cautery)
Idaho (Filshie clip tubal ligation)

And The Winner Is…

There has been an unofficial competition among patients of our Tubal Reversal Message Board for who would be the first patient to report a Monteith tubal reversal pregnancy. A patient from Alaska was the first to report a positive pregnancy test. She has confirmed that a first trimester ultrasound showed the pregnancy is in the uterus and is doing well. We have asked her to share her story and experience with us in a future blog article and she has said she will do this once her life calms down and her morning sickness disappears.

Why Have Pregnancies Been Reported So Soon?

These pregnancies have all occurred within the first two weeks of his reversing tied tubes. We typically ask our patients to wait a month until they try to conceive. So these patients likely started to attempt to conceive mid to end of August. They obviously had success and conceived at their first ovulation after ligation reversal!

To the patients of Dr. Monteith who have not yet conceived: keep up the faith and it should happen in due time. Most people do not realize how long it may take to become pregnant until they actually try. It can sometimes take up to 10-12 months before a successful conception can occur.

Monteith Miracle Tubal Reversal Baby Shirts

Monteith Miracle Tubal Reversal Baby Shirt

The Monteith Miracle Shirts have just arrived and are hot off the presses. They are ready to be sent out when the babies are delivered. All you have to do to receive one is:

Be a patient of Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center.
Be a tubal reversal patient of Dr. Montieth.
Become pregnant after tubal reversal.
Report the pregnancy to us.
Report the birth to us.

The first shirt goes out April of 2009 and the rest shortly thereafter. We wish these women good luck and all of the women who have had tubal ligation reversals by the tubal reversal doctors at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center.

Untying Tied Tubes: Filshie Clip Sterilization   May 10th, 2008

Tying Tubes is Not Like Tying a Shoe Lace

Tied tubes are not like a tied shoe lace.Many patients seem to imagine the fallopian tube is like a shoe lace which is tied up like a bow to prevent pregnancy. As tubal ligation reversal specialists, we wish it were that easy- then untying tied tubes would be easier!

‘Tying fallopian tubes’ is a common language phrase used to describe several different surgical procedures that result in tubal sterilization (a procedure intended to permanently prevent pregnancy). The more correct medical term is bilateral (both sides) tubal occlusion (closure of the fallopian tube).

Tubal Ligation Methods

There are many different ways to occlude (close) the fallopian tubes: ligation and resection (tying and cutting), clips and rings, and coagulation (burning). No matter how the procedure is done the end result causes the tube to close, heal shut, and prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg.

Filshie Clip Tubal Ligation

One common form of laparoscopic (camera) sterilization is the use of Filshie clips to occlude both fallopian tubes. The Filshie clip was approved for use in the United States in the mid 1990′s. The Filshie clip is a small titanium clip which is lined with a thin silicone cushion. The clip was an improvement over the Yoon Falope Ring and the Hulka Clip because it was as easy to apply with less risk of operative complications. The clip also has the advantage of destroying only a very small portion of the fallopian tube- approximately 4mm (approximately the thickness of two quarters stacked on each other). The adjacent tube is not affected. The majority of Filshie clips placed in the United States are done by laparoscopic surgery; however, there is a growing trend to use them for tubal occlusion at the time of cesarean delivery (c-section).

Filshie clip applied to the fallopian tube.The Filshie clip causes bilateral tubal occlusion by squeezing a very small portion of the tube. The squeezed portion is deprived of its blood supply and eventually undergoes avascular necrosis (dies and is absorbed by the body). This causes the fallopian tube to be divided in half and the two ends to close up. The Filshie clip is held in place (in between the two divided ends) by a small amount of scar tissue which forms over the clip.

A common misconception is that the Filshie clips can simply be removed to reverse the sterilization process- that the tubes can be unclipped. Unfortunately, tubal ligation reversal for Filshie clips is not as simple as just opening the clips. Filshie clip tubal occlusion is reversed by removing the clips and using microsurgical techniques to open the closed ends and join the tubal segments back together in perfect alignment.

The reversal of Filshie clip tubal occlusion is usually technically easier than some other methods of sterilization because such a minimal amount of tube is destroyed in the occlusion process.

Approximately 76% of patients at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center become pregnant after a reversal of a Filshie clip sterilization procedure.

Tubal Sterilization Can Be Reversed

Many people believe tubal sterilization is permanent and irreversible. Although Filshie clip sterilization is intended to be permanent, this procedure can be reversed. Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center is the one medical facility that specializes in tubal ligation reversal.

We have become experts in reversing all types of tubal ligations- or ‘untying’ tubes that have been ‘tied’!

Submitted by Dr. Charles Monteith

Ethics of Tubal Ligation   December 26th, 2007

Tubal Sterilization For Young Women With No Children

One of today’s patients at Chapel Hill Surgical Center was a woman in her thirties who recently become married and had a tubal ligation at age 24 years when she had no children. Her tubal ligation had been performed by a tubal coagulation procedure in which the fallopian tubes were burned at the junction of her uterus. The tubal lumen or opening within the uterine wall was scarred completely on both the right and left sides from the burning procedure. Therefore, the only way to perform a tubal reversal was through the technique of tubouterine implantation.

I mention this case because it was unnecessarily destructive, especially when performed for a young woman with no children. Many studies show that these are women who are most likely to change their minds later on and want to be able to have children. In this case, almost any other tubal ligation procedure would have been preferable. In my view, the best choice of a tubal ligation for a young woman with no children is the clip method (either Hulka clip or Filshie clip).

I have encountered other cases like this in the past. I wonder if the doctor who performed her tubal ligation considered the possibility that the patient might change her mind, and therefore it would be preferable to perform a tubal ligation better suited to reversing at a later time, should the need arise.

Comments Welcome

I am interested in what other people think about this.

See Tubal Ligation Ethics – Part 2. There are also more pages about the Ethics of Tubal Ligation on the Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center web site.