September 2015 I went in to have a routine Tubal Ligation after having my second child. It was a surgery I was not sure I really wanted, but I gave into the peer pressure of those around me saying it was a good idea. I gave in with the basic knowledge that it had the possibility of being reversed if I so choose. Yes, the odds of conceiving after a reversal are still less than 50% but it was an option I thought I had. I spoke with my OB/GYN at the time about it and he told me the basics and scheduled me a surgery. All went great, I went home the day of the surgery and went on with my life, on with raising my 4 year old and newborn.
Fast forward to 2018. The husband and I began discussing having another child. I was so excited and the possibility, I was still young and wanted so much to have another child with the love of my life. The first thing I did was do my research. During a tubal ligation, they either sear or snip your tubes, and depending on which depends on the reversal. So I called my OB/GYN and asked them which had been performed, the news I got instead shocked me. Plain as day the nurse said to me, “You did not have a tubal ligation, you had a Bilateral Salpingectomy.” I then proceeded to ask her what that meant because I had never heard the term before. She informed me that it meant he removed my Fallopian tubes entirely. I was so confused and shocked, the tears began to flow and I felt heartbreak. I knew I had to really look into this, it had to be a mistake.
What I found was that doctor’s during a short period of time were taking it upon themselves to remove women’s tubes during a tubal ligation because they believed it to lower the risk of ovarian cancer later in life. They now know, there is no connection at all. Obviously, there is no way to have that reversed. So, if I did want another child, IVF or adoption would have to be my answer. I was hurt, I was angry, and I lost complete respect for the man who delivered my two children.
After the emotions subsided, I realized I was still slightly confused. In the appointments following my surgery, why was that never explained to me? Why was it not explained before? Why did he do not one but two pregnancy tests on me to check for tubal pregnancies because I was not menstruating? I had no tubes right, so how would I have a tubal pregnancy? I felt lied too and that he deliberately hid it from me. So my next step, get all of my medical records to confirm this for myself. December 2018 I requested all of my records regarding the surgery and after from the office itself. I never received them , so I went straight to the medical group itself and requested them. Finally April 2019 I received the finally papers of what I requested. I went through all of them including the surgical permission. Everything said Tubal Ligation, it was even documented that he performed the pregnancy tests on me after. The surgical report itself did say he performed the salpingectomy, but the post op report (when he comes to visit after surgery) stated tubal ligation. After venting my frustrations to my husband and family, they suggested seeking out an attorney. So I did.
I reached out to a local attorney who said it sounded like I definitely had a case, but he wanted to look over my paperwork, so I took it to him. The next day I got his correspondence. I was disappointed and angry with the reply. The attorney stated that though I clearly had a case, it would be in my best interest financially to not pursue it. He stated that the Doctor’s permission form for the surgery was non-specific and extremely broad, which would give him plenty of room to argue that he found it necessary to take my tubes no matter my permission. He also stated that Michigan Republicans have made it increasingly more difficult to file lawsuits of this kind unless injury or death has occurred. And though I may be able to find one professional to testify on my behalf (costing me upwards to $4000) he would have 20 on his, because in these types of cases doctors stick together. I was so upset that my body did not matter, my choices did not matter, and my voice was not going to be heard. So I decided to write this blog post. If you learn anything from this, please read what you sign. Ask your questions. I was also told that if I had stated that I wanted my tubes kept it would have been a different situation. However, as most normal people understand it, they do not remove your tubes during a tubal, so I did not find it necessary to say I wanted them kept. Please, I urge you, ask your questions and read your papers. Make sure you are heard, and even if silly, make sure you say what your wishes are in any case!
Have a blessed day xo