My PTLS Story

This is my first post one month after having tubal reversal surgery.  All I can say is how incredible I feel!  I had my tubes tied after the birth of my 4th child in December of 2009, during her csection. (Filshie Clips)  Side effects started immediately.  The first thing that I noticed was I was not making as much milk as I had with the other kids.  I  just had a child two years before and had not had any problems with milk supply.  I had actually breastfed him up to 18 months, stopped for two months and became pregnant with number 4.  But this baby had to have bottles to supplement with, despite pumping and taking milk enhancing supplements.  The next thing that I noticed was that I didn't have that happy peaceful feeling that I usually had during that post partum period.  I was full of anxiety, sure that something was going to happen to one of my children or my hubby.  When I went to my six week appointment, I talked to my doc about this and all he would do is send me to the psychology department.  By the time I got my appointment with them I also had my first period.  This blew me away because I had never had a period so soon after birth, and it was horrible and painful.  I attributed it to the csection since it was my first time not having a vaginal birth.  I also still had horrible pain on my right side and I had no idea if it was from the csection or from the tubal.  At the time, I didn't know that they had used filshie clips.  I was adamant that I didn't want anything foriegn left inside of me.  No clips or rings!  The psychologist said she didn't think it was post partum depression, and encouraged me to go back to the doctor and explain the pain.  When I went back to the gyno, complaining of pain by my right ovary, I told her that I was concerned that it was where they removed a peice of the tube for the ligation.  She told me that I was "stupid and didn't know where my ovaries were".  I was so embarassed and angry.  But I was also scared.  I was in pain and she wasn't listening.  The nurse was in the room when she said this, and she asked the doctor if an ultrasound was in order but the doc wouldn't do it.  Then she said she would give me a localized pain injection in  case of left over inflammation from the csection.  If it made me feel better, I could come back the next day for a second longer lasting dose.  The pain shot helped, but when I went to go back the next day she wouldn't see me anymore.  She passed me off the primary care doc.

The primary care doc was quite nice about it all.  He agreed to give me another shot for pain and I explained that I was afraid that it was where they had removed a piece of the tube.  He looked up my operative report and said he didn't think that was it.  (but again, didn't tell me why)  When he had me point out where I was hurting, he said he couldn't give me a pain injection too deep as it was right above my right ovary.  It felt great to know that I wasn't "stupid" after all.  The pain injection only lasted for a couple of days much to my disappointment.  He scheduled me for an ultrasound.  

By this point I was feeling horrible about the Tubal Ligation.  My periods were heavy and irregular.  I had horrible hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety and depression.   My hair was falling out, my nails were breaking way back into the nail bed.  But the weirdest thing was I had a rash on my back that itched like crazy.  Each time I would ask about these symptoms I was told they were all in my head.  I couldn't wear jewelry anymore without getting a rash.  I always had an allergy to nickle and that was why I didn't want to have any clips inside of me.  Then finally my periods stopped altogether.  I needed answers and fast.  

My ultrasound found nothing.   I had blood work done that was "unremarkable".  Then I kept having this nagging feeling that I needed a copy of my operative report.  I requested both the operative and pathology reports from my surgery.  When they could not find a pathology report, I knew that something was up.  When I got the copy of the operative report I found out that the doctor used filshie clips for the ligation.  I was sick.  There were metal clips in me that I couldn't do anything about.  Yet, I thought maybe it was a blessing.  I had already been looking into tubal reversal and had read on numerous sites that fishie clips were the easiest to reverse.  I didn't know what to feel at that point, but I was relieved to feel like I had an answer to my pain.  

On to the next gyno.  She believed me about the pain and said that women with all types of ligations complain of the same pain that I was describing.  (Where was that on the informed consent form?)  Her solution to my pain was to take out my fallopian tubes.  I was shocked.  How could causing more damage be a good thing?  She said it would be a four to six week recovery.  She ordered a CT scan just in case one of the clips came off and had migrated.  Great.  Another worry.  CT scan came out normal.  

By this point nine months had gone by and I had no more answers or relief.  I finally started another period and it was the most painful and intense period of my life.  It lasted twelve days and was unbelievably heavy.  I was wiped out and told my husband that I couldn't take anymore.  I finally sent my operative report off to the Center for Fertility and Gynecology in Tarzana California.  I had a phone consult with Dr. Marc Kalan.  He was compassionate and understanding.  This set my tubal reversal in motion.  

Waiting for the reversal was the hardest part.  Finally the last few months he put me on birth control pills which helped the pain during ovulation and slightly lessened the heavy flow.  

Finally, 14 months and two days after making the horrible mistake of having my tubes tied, I had the reversal surgery.  I woke up feeling peaceful, and the pain that I had been feeling since having the TL was gone.  I feel back to normal, anxiety is gone, I've had my first normal period since giving birth, and I can move without pain!

I am starting this blog to help other women realize that having your tubes tied is not what it is advertised to be.  And while I realize that there are many women happy with their tubals, there are many more who have horror stories like my own.  All women deserve informed consent, and a right to know what side effects they could have.