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Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome (PTLS)

PTLS Diagnosis and Tests

An email message received today about Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome (PTLS) from a patient who is scheduled for tubal reversal next month prompted this blog topic. I thought it would provide helpful information to others with similar concerns.

“My problem is horrible PTLS. I had my tubes tied in 05 at the time of my 3rd C-section. I understand that PTLS is not widely accepted or recognized in the medical community as a true syndrome or diagnosis, but could I expect to see something supporting that diagnosis in any blood work or hormone tests? Would it be normal to see abnormal hormone levels to some degree in support of this diagnosis or is it possible that all my levels would be ok but that the disruption in the flow of blood between ovaries and uterus could cause all of my symptoms and simply not show changes in hormone levels? Also, are there specific hormone tests I can have my ob/gyn check?

I only came across all this info on the net while desperately searching for answers to my growing list of symptoms that I never thought were related. This is very nerve wracking and exhausting. Three years is a long time and I look forward to this journey coming to an end and new one beginning, but I have so many questions and I was hoping you could steer me in the right direction so I can have any other diagnostics tests that may be helpful to my cause.”

Dr. Berger’s Response

One of the reasons that PTLS is not recognized as a true syndrome by most physicians is that there is no specific diagnostic test that is correlated with symptoms. If you search through the medical literature, you will find many studies with conflicting results. For example, you can do a search using Google Scholar for “hormones post tubal ligation syndrome” to review results from some recent medical studies.

Diagnostic Codes

There is no diagnostic code for Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Without a specific diagnostic code, insurance companies do not provide reimbursement for testing or treatment. The International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) does have other diagnostic codes that can be used, depending upon the symptoms being experienced:

  • ICD-9-CM #625.0  Dyspareunia – Painful sexual intercourse.
  • ICD-9-CM #625.3  Dysmenorrhea – Painful menstruation.
  • ICD-9-CM #625.4  Premenstrual tension syndromes –
    Distressing physical, psychologic, or behavioral changes that occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Symptoms of PMS are diverse (such as pain, water-retention, anxiety, cravings, and depression) and they diminish markedly 2 or 3 days after the initiation of menses.
  • ICD-9-CM #626.2  Menorrhagia  – Excessive menstruation.
  • ICD-9-CM #626.6  Metrorrhagia – Irregular uterine bleeding.
  • ICD-9-CM #627.0  Premenopausal menorrhagia
  • ICD-9-CM #626.8  Disorders of menstruation, other

Insurance Coverage

Insurance companies do not recognize PTLS as a medical entity. Depending upon the symptoms you have, your doctor could use one or more of these diagnostic codes. The specific tests that may be appropriate will depend on your symptoms. For example, if you have pelvic pain, then ultrasound examination would be appropriate as part of an evaluation for pain. Abnormal menstrual bleeding would appropriately involve hormonal assays (FSH, LH, estradiol, progesterone). Based on the results of any preoperative testing, a diagnostic code could be listed on your operative report as a preoperative and postoperative diagnosis. This might influence the insurance company regarding possible reimbursement for tubal reversal surgery. Read your insurance policy carefully. If it specifically states that tubal reversal is not a covered benefit, no matter what information is sent to the insurance company, there will be no reimbursement. If the policy does not specify that tubal reversal is excluded, then there may be a possibility of getting reimbursement from your insurance carrier.

More Information about Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome

Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome is written about on many pages of the A Personal Choice website. There are also many discussions about PTLS on the Tubal Reversal Message Board. Another excellent source of information is Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome News.

Need More Information About Tubal Reversal?

A Personal Choice Tubal Reversal Center is in Raleigh, North Carolina and specializes in tubal ligation, Essure, and vasectomy reversal surgery.

Dr. Monteith specializes in helping couples have more beautiful children with reversal surgery and helping women treat abnormal symptoms after their tubes have been tied!

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By joining the group you can communicate with other women who have had successfully reversed their tubal ligation and restored their natural fertility.

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