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This is a summary of the NHS Devon CCG commissioning policy for the reversal of male and female sterilisation.
Reversal of male sterilisation is a surgical procedure that involves the reconstruction of the vas deferens. A vasectomy can be reversed, but success rates are not very high and there is no guarantee that fertility will return.
Reversal of female sterilisation is a surgical procedure that involves the reconstruction of the fallopian tubes. Female sterilisation can be reversed, but it is a very difficult process that involves removing the blocked part of the fallopian tube and re-joining the ends. There is no guarantee that the patient would become fertile again. The success rates of female sterilisation reversal depend on factors such as age, and the method that was used in the original operation.
The CCGs are responsible for ensuring that the treatments provided for the local population represent the best use of the NHS budget allocated to them for their population's health services. The CCGs have to choose how to use their funds carefully to ensure that the local population has access to the healthcare that is most needed and that people with equal need have equal opportunity to access treatments.
This inevitably means that difficult decisions need to be made. Unfortunately, some treatment that patients might wish to receive cannot be funded or is only offered under certain circumstances. This approach is consistent with other NHS organisations who buy healthcare for their local communities.
Sterilisation procedure is available on the NHS and people seeking sterilisation should be fully advised and counselled (in accordance with Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guidelines) that the procedure is intended to be permanent. Reversal of sterilisation is considered a low priority for use of healthcare funds.
Where the circumstances of treatment for an individual patient do not meet the criteria described above exceptional funding can be sought. Individual cases will be reviewed by the appropriate panel of the CCG upon receipt of a completed application from the patient's GP, consultant or clinician. Applications cannot be considered from patients personally.
Date of publication: 22 November 2018