While in vitro fertilization, or IVF, remains one of the leading treatment options for infertility, some women prefer other options. At Houston Fertility Center in Texas, Dr. Sonja Kristiansen offers surgical options for infertility, such as fallopian tube reconstruction. Due to the more invasive nature of the procedure, it is not appropriate for all women, however, some are good fallopian tube reconstruction candidates.
What Is Fallopian Tube Reconstruction?
Fallopian tube reconstruction is a surgical procedure that repairs and reconstructs tubes that were previously tied or have been damaged. Fallopian tubes can suffer damage from infections, previous pelvic surgeries, and prior ectopic (tubal) pregnancies. Dr. Kristiansen uses laparoscopic and microsurgical techniques to use small incisions and minimize the risk for further scarring of the tubes.
Who Is a Good Fallopian Tube Reconstruction Candidate?
Unfortunately, to determine if a woman is a good candidate for fallopian tube reconstruction, Dr. Kristiansen must perform a surgical evaluation. This is done to evaluate the damage sustained by the fallopian tubes, and to determine if there are any other infertility issues involved. Therefore, potential candidates must be healthy enough - and willing - to undergo multiple surgical procedures.
Other candidacy requirements include:
- Age: In generally, fallopian tube reconstruction is a good option for women under the age of 35. After that point, maternal age becomes another infertility concern. Most women over the age of 35 experience better success with IVF.
- Prior Tubal Ligation: Women who previously had their tubes tied are usually good candidates for reversal and reconstruction. Again, Dr. Kristiansen will have to look at the ligation method used and determine if there is any other damage that may make reconstruction less effective.
- Endometriosis, Pelvic Infections, and Prior Surgeries: Endometriosis, pelvic infections, and prior surgeries can all cause scarring that leaves one or both tubes blocked. While Dr. Kristiansen can remove this scar tissue, there is a strong possibility that it will reappear at a later time. Additionally, even after removing the scar tissue, the fallopian tubes are still damaged in a way that cannot be adequately repaired. As a result, women may see much lower success rates.
- Understanding of Risks: Dr. Kristiansen counsels all our patients on the risks involved with any infertility treatment. Fallopian tube reconstruction to reverse ligation offers the highest success rates at 80 percent. Reconstruction to remove scar tissue, however, has lower success rates, ranging between 10 and 60 percent. There is also a high risk of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Women who choose fallopian tube reconstruction must have a thorough understanding of the risks involved. In the event that reconstruction is not successful, IVF can be pursued at a later time.
Schedule an Evaluation Today
At Houston Fertility Center, our goal is to help every couple see their dream of having a family become a reality. Dr. Kristiansen thoroughly evaluates all couples for infertility so that all problem areas can be addressed, heightening your chances of pregnancy. If you would like to discuss your infertility treatment options, contact our fertility center to schedule an evaluation.