What Happens in the Tubal Ligation Procedure?
While the patient is under anesthesia, one or two small incisions (cuts) are made in the abdomen (one usually near the navel), and a device similar to a small telescope on a flexible tube (called a laparoscope) is inserted through the incision.
Using instruments that are inserted through the laparoscope or the second incision, the tubes (Fallopian tubes) are coagulated (electrocoagulation), cauterized (burned), or obstructed using a small clip. The skin is then closed with a few stitches. Most patients feel well enough to go home within a few hours after the procedure.
The health care professional may prescribe analgesic medications to manage post-operative pain.
Most women return to normal activities, including work, in a few days, although some women may be advised not to exercise for a short time. Sexual intercourse may resume when the patient is comfortable.
A tubal ligation can also be performed immediately after childbirth through a small incision near the navel or at the time of a Cesarean section.
Currently, laparoscopic tubal ligation is the most popular method of female sterilization in non-pregnant women. Periumbilical mini-laparotomy in which a segment of each tube is removed through a small incision in the umbilicus (Pomeroy, Parkland) is the most commonly used procedure immediately following childbirth.