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Effectiveness of Bilateral Tubotubal Anastomosis in a Large Outpatient Population


Berger, Gary S.; Thorp, John M., Jr.; & Weaver, Mark A. (2016). Effectiveness of Bilateral Tubotubal Anastomosis in a Large Outpatient Population. Human Reproduction, 31(5), 1120-1125. PMCID: PMC4840024


STUDY QUESTION: Is bilateral tubotubal anastomosis a successful treatment in an outpatient patient population?
SUMMARY ANSWER: For women wanting children after tubal sterilization, bilateral tubotubal anastomosis is an effective outpatient treatment.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: With the current emphasis in reproductive medicine on high technology procedures, the effectiveness of female surgical sterilization reversal is often overlooked. Previous clinical studies of tubal sterilization reversal have been mostly retrospective analyses of small patient populations.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: A cohort of women who underwent outpatient bilateral tubotubal anastomosis from January 2000 to June 2013 was followed prospectively until December 2014 to determine the proportions of women undergoing the procedure who became pregnant and who had live births. Data were collected at the time of pregnancy. Differences in pregnancy rates and live birth rates associated with age, race and sterilization method were evaluated.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: A total of 6692 women, aged 20-51 years, underwent outpatient bilateral tubotubal anastomosis.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: The crude overall pregnancy rate was 69%. The crude overall birth rate was 35%. Results varied according to age at sterilization reversal and the method of sterilization. Women under 30 years of age at reversal of ring/clip sterilizations had an 88% pregnancy rate and 62% birth rate. Pregnancy and birth rates declined as age increased at sterilization reversal. Coagulation sterilization reversals resulted in the lowest rates of pregnancies and births. Ligation/resection reversals had intermediate success rates.
LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Limitations of our study include probable underreporting of pregnancies based on patient-initiated reports; possible errors in the reporting of pregnancies or early miscarriages that may have been based solely on home pregnancy tests; and probable over-reporting of the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancies. We identified age and sterilization method as being associated with subsequent pregnancy, however, in order to be considered predictive, the associations would need to be validated in an independent second prospectively studied group of representative patients. Finally, we also included patients in the study population who had additional surgical procedures performed at the time of tubotubal anastomosis (e.g. uterine myomectomy, fimbrioplasty, ovarian cystectomy and adhesiolysis), factors that could result in differences in pregnancy statistics in our study versus other patient populations.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The results of this study can help inform patients and clinicians about this low technology alternative to IVF.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Human Reproduction


Berger, Gary S.
Thorp, John M., Jr.
Weaver, Mark A.