We frequently get concerns from patients “do I have enough tube left to be reversed” or “will I have enough tube to get pregnant” The answer is almost certainly yes. Our average finished tube length is 7 centimeters and that is plenty tube to get pregnant. Some patients have short tubes when we reverse them and less chance to get pregnant but that does not happen very often.
What is most important is your underlying fertility. I you got pregnant easily before your tubes were tied you will have a better chance of success after reversal. I think it’s very important to say that the only way to tell for sure if you have enough length in your tubes (most patients do) is to look at them and see. No X-ray, CAT scan, MRI or hysterosalpingogram (HSG test) can tell if you have enough tube. We always try to get your op note from your tubal ligation because it usually lets us re-assure you that your doctor who tied your tubes left you in good shape. There is no charge for this. When we can’t get your op note we usually can learn about your tubal ligation by talking to you. There is no charge for this, either.
The average age of our patients is 37. We only do tubal reversals on women and we just did our 3000th patient last summer. As a result of confining our practice to just reversals and Essure removals we have a lot of data and the ability to tell our patients what their chances are. On our website our experience is broken down into age groups and tubal ligation types. There is no great drop off from 25 years of age to 40 and then the percentages do go down to about 40%. We do not include ectopic pregnancies because an ectopic pregnancy is not a successful pregnancy. Our ectopic pregnancy rate is only 2.5% of reversal patients.
You may have noticed Dr. Turner and I never tell people that we are the most experienced or that our results are the best or anything to imply that we are better than anyone else. The reason is it’s against the law in most states and its always unethical. We just did our 3000th tubal reversal last summer, you can see from the testimonials on this website that patients are generally very happy with the service we provide patients, and their outcomes.
We don’t alter our statistics by including ectopic pregnancies because an ectopic pregnancy is not a viable pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is a risk of tubal reversal and our rate is 2.5% not 10 – 30%, as we have seen posted at other facilities. We only do Tubal Reversals and Essure Reversal or Removals for women, in our licensed, accredited surgical center. I really don’t know who the best tubal reversal surgeon in the world is. I think I can say for sure that he or she does not say that he or she is and I’m sure Dr. Turner and I are near the top of the list.
Bayer, the current manufacturer of Essures has announced that they will no longer be selling the Essure devices. There is a report that they have spent 413 million dollars defending lawsuits from consumers with these devices. They claim that Essure problems are not the reason for their withdrawal. This announcement will probably cause concern for many women.
The important thing is to make sure that you have not heard about symptoms and have decided that you have those symptoms. Most women do very well with Essures but a minority do not. If you don’t need to have them removed or reversed don’t do it. If you decide that you need them removed do not let anyone talk you into a hysterectomy to remove them.
The things that cause women to seek removal: low back pain, bleeding, skin rashes, hair loss, depression, and metallic taste in the mouth can all be due to things other than your Essure. If you never had your symptoms until the devices were put in you that should raise your suspicion that the Essures are at fault. We have seen some women that did well with their Essures for several years and then developed symptoms. Two things that seem related to the nickel in the Essures are a history of allergy problems with cheap gold jewelry and a metallic taste in the mouth. Most all of the patients who have come to us for Essure removal have noticed immediate and dramatic changes. That having been said, there is no guarantee that removal of Essure devices will alleviate all symptoms you may be having.
Our surgical center is accredited, like a hospital is and part of the requirements is that we “benchmark” or compare our results with similar facilities. The accrediting organization The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care comes to our center and checks everything from how we protect your privacy, how we look after our equipment, how we check on the people who work here, how we make sure the drugs that we use are not out of date and on and on.
To complete their requirement that we compare our results is difficult because few people that do reversals report results and a lot of what is reported is deceptive. One example is the frequent claim “98% Success”. When you read the fine print they mean 98% of their patients are operated and reversed, not necessarily pregnant. We have seen results reported where ectopic pregnancies were included as part of their total. An ectopic pregnancy is not a success in any way! If you read the fine print, their ectopic pregnancies are 10-30%. Including their ectopics makes their results look better but it’s deceptive. Because we only do reversals on women, dye test our patients to make sure they are fixed right and close the tube in layers our ectopic rate is 2.5%, which is very low. You can see our success rates on our website broken down by age and the type of tubal ligation that the patient had before coming to us.