Tubal Reversal Risks
Tubal Reversal Risks: Extremely Safe
Tubal reversal risks are minimal and reversal surgery is extremely safe. Tubal reversal is so safe Dr. Monteith is able to perform the surgery in an outpatient surgery under general anesthesia.
The single most important risk is the risk of ectopic (or tubal) pregnancy.
Reversal patients should be aware they will need to have every early pregnancy monitored by their local doctor to minimize the chance of ectopic pregnancy.
Tubal reversal risks: Ectopic pregnancy!
During tubal reversal, the closed ends of the tubes are opened. The tubal segments are rejoined using microsurgical techniques and very fine permanent sutures to minimize the chance of scar tissue formation. After surgery, the ends of the open tubes should heal together but there will always be a ‘rough spot’ where a fertilized egg may decide to land and start growing…if this happens then the pregnancy will be in the fallopian tube…or an ectopic pregnancy.
Tubal reversal risks: River and raft analogy
Many patients want to know why ectopic pregnancy occurs after tubal reversal? An easy to understand explanation is that of rafts and a fast flowing river.
Imagine a fast flowing river. Imagine several large trees have fallen into the river and are halfway on the bank and halfway in the river. Even though the trees have fallen into the river, the river is still flowing.
Now imagine you own a tour company and have to manage 10 raft trips a day. You send 10 rafts down the river. On any given day you expect 9 rafts to make it without incident and 1 raft to get stuck on the trees on the edge of the river.
At least 1 out of every 10 rafts will get stuck on the river’s edge and the raft will need to be retrieved.
If you understand the comparison of a raft getting stuck on the fallen trees then you can easily understand how ectopic pregnancy happens after the tubes have been rejoined. Each fertilized egg represents a raft going down the river. Most rafts will make it down the river but some will not finish the trip.
Tubal reversal risks: Chance of ectopic pregnancy
Just as in the raft and river analogy the chance of ectopic pregnancy after tubal reversal surgery is 10%.
Of all the tubal reversal risks, ectopic pregnancy is the most serious and most common. Although ectopic pregnancy is serious, ectopic pregnancy risks can be easily managed by seeing your local doctor during every early pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancies can easily be treated with methotrexate medication if diagnosed early.
Managing tubal reversal risks: The 3-part plan!
Dr. Monteith has devised a three-part plan to help his patients manage the tubal reversal risks of ectopic: education, medical records, and early monitoring.
Education. Dr. Monteith and his nursing staff provide patients with extensive education about ectopic pregnancy and what needs to be done to minimize this risk.
Medical records. Dr. Monteith encourages all patients to follow-up with their local physician within 30 days of tubal reversal surgery. Dr. Monteith will then send the tubal reversal operative report and a letter of recommendations to each patient’s local doctor.
Early monitoring. Dr. Monteith encourages all patients to report early pregnancy to their local doctor as soon as pregnancy is detected with a home urine pregnancy test. Patients report pregnancy to Dr. Monteith using his Pregnancy report form. Patients are asked to follow Dr. Monteith’s early pregnancy monitoring protocol with their local doctor.
More information Managing the risk of ectopic: Early pregnancy monitoring protocol