What is tubal ligation surgery?
Tubal ligation is surgery to close your fallopian tubes. It's also called having your tubes tied.
To close your tubes, the doctor may band, burn (cauterize), tie and cut, or clip them. The doctor may also completely remove the fallopian tubes. After this, an egg can't move down your tubes and can't be fertilized. This means you can't get pregnant.
This surgery can be done in two ways. In laparoscopic surgery, a doctor puts a lighted tube (scope) and other tools through a few small cuts. These cuts are called incisions. One is just below your belly button. The other is lower on your abdomen. After this surgery, you will probably stay in the hospital for 2 to 4 hours. You can likely go back to work in 2 to 7 days.
The other type of surgery is called open surgery(mini-laparotomy). In this surgery, the doctor makes a larger incision above your pubic hairline or below your belly button. You will probably stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days if you have this surgery. You can probably go back to work in about 1 to 2 weeks.
Surgery can be done right after you give birth (postpartum tubal ligation). Open surgery is usually used.
After the surgery, you should not be able to get pregnant. While there is a very small chance you could get pregnant, tubal ligation is a very reliable form of birth control.
Tubal ligation won't affect your menstrual cycle or when you start menopause. It also won't affect your desire for sex. But you could feel more relaxed about having sex. This is because you don't have to worry about getting pregnant.
How do you prepare for surgery?
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Preparing for surgery
- You may need to take a laxative or enema before surgery. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.
- Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
- Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
- Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
What happens on the day of surgery?
Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.
At the hospital or surgery center
Bring a picture ID.
The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.
The surgery will take about 20 to 30 minutes.
When should you call your doctor?
- You have questions or concerns.
- You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
- You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
- You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter I009 in the search box to learn more about "Tubal Ligation: Before Your Surgery".
Current as of: August 2, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine