We have had many hundreds of women attend the female sterilisation reversal clinic. Many have had open surgery whilst some have had keyhole surgery and a common question before the surgery concerns the scars.

With keyhole surgery, the scars are small, around 1 – 2 cm in length and situated in various areas of the abdomen. These do fade quickly.

Ladies that have open surgery (a single incision in the lower tummy) have a larger scar. However, this is smaller (around 50-60%) than a caesarian scar if one is present. Mr Dobson always cuts through the old Caesarean scar so that there is not a new second scar. Sometimes, Mr Dobson will tidy up the old caesarean scar to create a new neater scar if the old one is a thick keloid scar.

If you do not have a caesarian scar, then a horizontal wound below the bikini line will be made to access your fallopian tubes.

The pictures below illustrate the rate of healing over a three month period from day 7 after surgery to three months later (pictures from lady who had a reversal, given with permission). It is important to note that the scar will continue to lighten further, and by 6-12 months the scar will be difficult to see.

The pictures below illustrate the rate of healing over a three month period from day 7 after surgery to three months later (pictures from lady who had a reversal, given with permission). It is important to note that the scar will continue to lighten further, and by 6-12 months the scar will be difficult to see.

scarring after sterilisation reversal

Visibility and Appearance

One of the primary concerns people have about scars after surgery is how visible and prominent they will be. Individuals often worry that scars might be disfiguring or affect their physical appearance, potentially impacting their self-esteem and body image.

A small number of patients (less than 1 in 20) may develop a keloid scar, which is a thicker ridge of scar tissue that develops when there is an over production of scar tissue (collagen). It is not always possible to prevent a keloid scar from forming, however surgical technique, suture (stitch) material and wound care post operatively do make a difference. Keloid scars can affect anyone, but they are more common in some people such as those with African, Asian or Hispanic ancestry.

Having spent time working with plastic surgeons, Mr Dobson closes his wounds in several layers using a special dissolvable stitch. This stitch rarely reacts with the skin, creating a very neat pale scar. In addition to this, to ensure a nice neat thin scar, he uses steri-strips to further reduce the possibility of the scar stretching during the first few days after surgery. He does not recommend the use of any moisturisers or oils and just asks that once the dressings and steri-strips are removed that the incision is kept clean and dry. He would also recommend avoiding any activity that would stretch the skin around the scar for at least 6 weeks after the surgery.

The initial healing period is up to 3 months and during this time the wound can be red, raised and sometimes swollen. After this time, the scar begins to soften, flatten, and fade over a period of around 3-12 months.

Pain and Discomfort:

Another concern that you may have is the potential for pain and discomfort associated with healing scars. Surgical scars can be accompanied by itching (as the nerves heal) and tenderness during the healing process.

We recommend that you try not to scratch the wound if it itches as this can introduce bacteria and hinder the healing process. To resist scratching, you can wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to minimise friction against the wound and keep the wound covered to discourage direct contact.

Discomfort around the scar can last 2-3 days following the surgery, we recommend taking regular pain relief in the first few days.

Psychological Impact:

Mr Dobson is more than happy talk through any concerns you may have, so that you and your partner are prepared for how the wound will look after the surgery and once it has healed.

It’s important to note that each person’s experience and concerns about scars can vary widely, influenced by factors like their personal beliefs, cultural norms, and the nature of the surgery. Mr Dobson will address these concerns, provide information, and offering strategies to promote optimal healing and scar appearance.