Tubal Ligation—Laparoscopic Surgery
(Surgical Sterilization; TL; Tubal Sterilization; Sterilization, Tubal; Sterilization, Surgical)
DefinitionFallopian tubes are tubes that lead from the ovaries to the uterus. A tubal ligation is a sterilization procedure to close the tubes.
|Options to Close Tubes|
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Reasons for ProcedureTubal ligation is done to prevent pregnancy. If you have this surgery, you will still ovulate and menstruate. The cut or blocked tubes keep the egg and sperm separated. When the egg and sperm cannot meet, fertilization does not happen and pregnancy cannot occur.This surgery is not recommended as a temporary or reversible procedure. Make sure you and your partner consider all the birth control options.
Possible ComplicationsProblems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Potential problems include:
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia
- Damage to other organs
- Ectopic pregnancy
What to Expect
Prior to ProcedureA physical exam and pregnancy test will be done.Leading up to your procedure:
- You may need to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
AnesthesiaYou may receive one of the following:
- General anesthesia —blocks pain and keeps you asleep through the surgery
- Spinal anesthesia —numbs the area from the chest down to the legs; given as an injection in the back
Description of the ProcedureA small cut will be made in the area of the navel. A harmless gas will then be inserted through this cut and into your abdomen. The gas will inflate the abdominal cavity. This will make it easier to view the internal organs. A long, thin instrument called a laparoscope will be inserted. It will contain a small camera and lighting system, which will let the doctor see inside the abdomen. A second cut may be made just above the pubic hair to insert an instrument for grasping the fallopian tubes. The tubes will be closed in one of the following ways:
- Ligation—tying and cutting of the tube
- Sealing by creating scar tissue
- Removing a small piece of the tube
- Applying plastic bands or clips
Immediately After ProcedureYou will be brought into the recovery room. You will rest there until the anesthesia wears off. You may receive pain medication.
How Long Will It Take?20-30 minutes
How Much Will It Hurt?Anesthesia will keep you comfortable and pain free during the procedure. You may feel bloated and have pain in your shoulder or chest because of the air inserted into your abdomen. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
Post-procedure CareAt the Care CenterYou can usually go home the same day. You may need to stay longer if you have complications.At HomeTo help ensure a smooth recovery:To help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Follow your doctor's instructions on cleaning the incision site to prevent infection.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.