Tubal Ligation

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What is a laparoscopy for tubal ligation?

A laparoscopy for tubal ligation is a procedure in which your health care provider closes a woman's fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. It is a type of sterilization for women. The fallopian tubes carry eggs to the uterus. Your provider uses a laparoscope (a thin tube with a light and tiny camera) to see the fallopian tubes. Your provider uses another thin tube with a tool for closing the tubes. This prevents pregnancy because it stops sperm from reaching and fertilizing eggs.

In addition to traditional Tubal Ligation procedures, we also perform the innovative and non-invasive Essure procedure. Contact us to learn more about this procedure today.

When is it used?

We generally only recommend a permanent form of birth control, such as tubal ligation, if:

  • You have had as many children as you want.
  • Being pregnant might be dangerous for you.
  • You have a high risk of passing on a serious genetic disease.
  • You cannot use other birth control methods.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

Closing of the fallopian tubes almost always results in lifelong sterilization. It is a very reliable form of birth control. Blocking of the tubes may also help to prevent a serious infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Lovemaking will no longer need to be interrupted by the insertion of a birth control device or spermicide, and you will no longer have to take a daily pill or get shots for birth control.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

As with any medical procedure, there are risks involved. However, complications after tubal ligation are rare. There are some risks when you have general anesthesia. For more information about the risks associated with tubal ligation and the use of general anesthetic, don’t hesitate to ask.

How do I prepare for a laparoscopy?

Before the procedure, we will perform a pregnancy test. Additionally, be sure to make sure your medical records are updated with any allergies, and let us know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an anesthetic.

Please refrain from smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers heal more slowly after surgery, and they are also more likely to have breathing problems during surgery. For this reason, if you are a smoker, you should quit at least 2 weeks before the procedure. It is best to quit 6 to 8 weeks before surgery. Also, your wounds will heal much better if you do not smoke after surgery.

We may have additional instructions to prepare for the procedure; please follow all of the instructions provided. If you are to have general anesthesia, eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before midnight.  Do not eat or drink after midnight.  Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water.

What happens after the procedure?

You may stay in the hospital several hours or overnight to recover. Usually you go home the day of the surgery. The anesthetic may cause sleepiness or grogginess for a while. You may have a change in bowel habits for a few days. You may not be able to urinate right away and may have a catheter (a small tube) placed into your bladder through the urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside).


Create a plan for your care and recovery after the operation, and allow plenty of time to rest. Try to find other people to help you with your day-to-day duties.

You should avoid heavy activity such as lifting. We will inform you how much you can lift, what other recovery steps you should take, and when you should come back for a checkup.

When should I call Greenville OB/GYN?

Call our emergency number at any time if:

  • You develop a fever over 100 F (37.8 C).
  • You have bleeding or discharge from the vagina.
  • You have redness or tenderness around the surgical site.
  • You become dizzy and faint.
  • You have chest pain.
  • You have nausea and vomiting.
  • You become short of breath.
  • You have abdominal pain or swelling that gets worse.
  • You notice a green or yellow discharge from the surgical site.

Call during regular office hours if:

  • You have questions about the procedure or its results.
  • You want to make another appointment.

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