The fallopian tubes are located on either side of the uterus and extend toward the ovaries. They receive eggs from the ovaries and transport them to the uterus. Once the fallopian tubes are closed or removed, the sperm can no longer reach the egg. Tubal ligation is a sterilization procedure that provides permanent birth control and involves obstruction or removal of the fallopian tubes. About 20% of women choose tubal ligation as their contraceptive method, making it the second most common form of female contraception in the United States.
It has to be noted that that salpingectomy (fallopian tube removal) is now the surgical treatment of choice for the majority of patients that are looking for tubal ligation. Recent research studies suggest that ovarian and peritoneal cancers frequently originate in the fallopian tubes.
Types of Tubal Ligation or Removal
- Postpartum tubal ligation (through a min-laparotomy)
- Laparoscopic tubal occlusion (by using clips or coagulation)
- Salpingectomy (fallopian tube removal)
How do you prepare for Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation?
During your pre-procedure consultation your Viva Eve surgeon will discuss the following:
- Anesthesia options and any allergies you may have
- Current medications, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
- Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
- Taking a laxative or having an enema before surgery. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.
- Arranging for someone to pick you up after surgery
Why is a Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation performed?
For women who no longer want children, sterilization by laparoscopy (laparoscopic tubal ligation) provides a safe and convenient form of contraception. Once completed, no further steps are needed to prevent pregnancy.
Viva Eve gynecologic surgeons will ask you to consider the decision to undergo sterilization by laparoscopy very carefully. Though this procedure has been successfully reversed in some women, the goal of this procedure is permanent loss of fertility, and we don’t want you to come to regret this decision.
Our doctors will be happy to recommend a wide variety of reversible forms of contraception, such as birth control pills, an intrauterine device (IUD), or a barrier method (such as a diaphragm) to women who are not absolutely sure that they don’t want to have more children.
What can you expect during a Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation?
This operation is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes small incisions in the belly: one just below the belly button, the other a bit lower on the abdomen. The abdomen is inflated to allow the surgeon to see inside. A scope with a light and camera is placed through the incision and images are sent to a nearby screen.
A special device for grasping the fallopian tubes is inserted through a second, small incision made at the pubic hairline. The fallopian tubes are sealed in one of two ways:
- With an electric current that makes the tube clot (electrocoagulation)
- With a band or clip that is placed over the tubes.
After the fallopian tubes have been sealed or clipped, the laparoscope and grasping device are removed and a small bandage is applied over the incisions.
Laparoscopic tubal ligation may not be suitable for some women. In those cases, tubal ligation or removal may be performed by laparotomy, a more extensive surgery that requires a larger abdominal incision and a day or two of recovery in the hospital.
What is the follow up and recovery like for a Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation?
Recovery from the laparoscopic tubal ligation is usually uneventful After this surgery, you will probably stay at the surgical facility for 2 to 4 hours. You can likely go back to work in 2 to 7 days after surgery. The laparoscopic surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure and the patient should be mostly recovered after a few days.
What are the potential risks for a Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation?
The risks for laparoscopic tubal ligation surgery are similar to most other surgical operations. They include wound healing, bleeding, infection, and seroma (fluid collection) formation. Viva Eve’s surgeons will ensure that your recovery goes smoothly and if you follow the detailed postoperative instructions, you should heal quickly.
Do patients go through menopause after laparoscopic tubal ligation?
Tubal ligation or removal does not change a woman’s menstrual cycle or cause menopause.