PTLS (Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome)
Dear Dr. Berger,
In April 2008 I came to you for a tubal ligation reversal. I didn’t come to you like most women do for a second chance at having a baby; I came to you because after my fourth child was born on February 16, 2001 I made the decision to have a tubal ligation. It wasn’t long after my tubal ligation that I started to feel changes within my body. My health and body slowly deteriorated. As the years passed I became more symptomatic and was diagnosed with more and more medical problems, it was as if my body had aged twenty years over only seven.
In my mind I knew that my problems were due to the tubal ligation because they all started as soon as I had it done. Getting doctors to support this theory was the biggest challenge I have ever had to over come. I saw countless doctors in several states who I tried to discuss the issue with and was always turned away with another brush off or excuse because they really didn’t know enough about the subject and there wasn’t hard written proof in medical journals yet. I saw all kinds of doctors; primary care physicians, endocrinologists, nephrologists, emergency physicians and the worst one were a number of different OB-GYN doctors. If anyone would understand the problems caused by a tubal ligation I thought for sure it would be someone who specialized in the woman’s body. Each one of these doctors gave me separate excuses for my symptoms. Within the seven years I had my tubal ligation and saw these doctors I was told I had an auto immune disease, diabetes, new onset migraine headaches, ovarian cysts, cervical cancer, anxiety, depression and my periods were so heavy and painful I would have be treated in the emergency room. My worse symptom was the depression and mood swings. I would do impulsive things that were completely out of my character. I would become so depressed that I would avoid social events, think about hurting myself or others and cry uncontrollably for days. I ruined many circumstances and relationships in my life because of these mood swings and rages. Although I had my tubal ligation to permanently avoid pregnancy I also had to take the birth control pill in order to control my periods and heavy bleeding. Even though I attributed all my problems to the tubal ligation not one of these doctors supported my feelings and they all told me that it was “in my head” and that if anything it was because “I wasn’t getting any younger.” I was ready to give up on myself and deal with the suffering. Every doctor I saw only did everything in their power to convince me that tubal ligations did not cause the problems I was having. I was told that cutting and tying off tubes does not block any necessary hormones. I disagreed and was living proof that it did, but who was I?
After several more years of suffering and having another abnormal pap smear I decided to try one more new OB-GYN doctor at Baptist Medical center in Jacksonville Florida, Dr. Richard Myers. I expected the appointment to last five minutes and to see Dr. Myers run for the door as soon as he heard me say I think my problems were due to the tubal ligation. I was in complete shock when just the opposite happened. He pulled up a chair, sat in front of me, put his hand on my shoulder and listened to every word I had to say with genuine concern. I was even more shocked when by the end of my appointment he agreed with me and supported my desire for a tubal ligation reversal and at that point he highly recommended you.
I spent the next several months researching PTLS (Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome), tubal ligation reversals and tubal ligation reversal doctors. I took into consideration less expensive tubal reversal centers or ones that were closer to where I lived but after all that research and talking to you and your office staff I knew I’d be right at home with Chapel Hill Tubal reversal Center. I finally saved up the money and made my surgical appointment. You and Dr. Myers worked hand in hand from across the miles to prepare me for the surgery and then it was finally my time to come see you.
When I came to my preoperative visit with you the day before my surgery I thought for sure during my interview in your office that you were going to judge me too because I was there for you to fix symptoms that years worth of doctors wrote off as being “imaginary” rather than what most women came to you for. It’s a beautiful thing that you give families the opportunity to have more children but I just wanted my own life and body back to what I knew as healthy and normal. My biggest fear was that you wouldn’t put as much care and effort into my surgery because I wasn’t there to have another baby. Just like Dr. Myers did, you also surprised me. We sat in your comfortable office, you were compassionate and you took all the time I needed to tell you why I was there and why I decided to go forward with surgery. You also were genuinely interested and instead of being less interested because I wasn’t there to have a baby I felt you were even more determined to make me feel better and cure me of all the problems that had occurred over the years I had my tubal ligation. You were ready and eager for the challenge and I finally felt some relief knowing that there was actually some light at the end of the tunnel. Your support and confidence had me leaving your office knowing that if things were going to change for me and if I was going to get better it was now and at your hands.
The next morning I was your first case because of my latex allergy. Your nurses and anesthesiologist, all of whom took wonderful care of me, received me. I was prepped for surgery and walked to the operating room. The last preoperative memory I have is going into the operating room and a nurse putting her arm around me with a very warm blanket and walking me to the table also covered in blankets from the warmer. The surgery didn’t seem to take long at all and before I knew it I was in the recovery room. The postoperative period was the one that scared me the most because I have had so many problems with anesthesia in the past. Again, I was pleasantly surprised because I was having no side affects and very little discomfort. I myself work in the medical field and I was impressed with the skill and care your nurses took at controlling pain. Within a few hours my responsible adult took me to the hotel where I slept for a few hours. By that evening I was out having dinner and even did a little shopping. The next morning your nurse came to my hotel room, checked my surgical site and vital signs and discharged me. After that last check I headed back home to Florida.
A year has now passed and my world has completely changed. The improvements were slow but steady and the changes my body has experienced are amazing. I feel like time has been rewound and I’ve gained the years I lost while suffering. My metabolism feels renewed. I spend at least two hours every morning running, riding a mountain bike or cardio and weights at the gym. I have lost a lot of weight and my body has been completely transformed. I am more fit and healthier than I ever remember being. I have had no more symptoms of the autoimmune disease, diabetes or migraine headaches. The biggest improvement and the one I am most grateful for is that my uncontrollable mood swings and rages are gone. Not everyone around me knows that I had this surgery so it’s funny when friends and acquaintances comment on the positive change in my character and personality. I have heard from so many people that I am much more patient, calm and approachable. My husband has his wife back and my kids have their mother. I no longer feel like I want to isolate myself from people, in fact now I am always the one inviting people to my home and volunteering to host parties. I have been able to stop taking medications for all my symptoms and now I only take a daily vitamin each morning before my workout. I only wish that all the doctors that turned me away telling me that I was crazy could see me now. Anyone suffering from PTLS should not give up on being cured and suffer because of the ignorance of people and physicians who don’t want to see that this syndrome is real and it is ruining the quality of life for women everywhere. I wish everyone woman out there experiencing the same things I went through could know that in about an hour and with your bare hands your reversed and stopped all of my symptoms.
I completely appreciate that you give families the opportunity to add a new and precious life to their families but I appreciate even more that you gave me my life back. My family and friends will be grateful to you forever. I am enjoying my new life and I hope that anyone out there experiencing the affects of PTLS will get the same help from you and take their lives back, for their sake and for that of their families.
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