Munson Health
Related Information
Tubal Ligation -- Laparoscopic Surgery

Back to Document

(Surgical Sterilization; TL; Tubal Sterilization; Sterilization, Tubal; Sterilization, Surgical)


What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

A 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, like:
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
    • Blood thinners
    • Anti-platelet medications
  • The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.


You 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 Procedure

A 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
The instruments will then be removed and the openings will be closed with stitches.
In some cases, the doctor may switch to an open surgery . This involves making a larger incision.

Immediately After Procedure

You 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. Ask your doctor about medication to help with the pain after the procedure.

Post-procedure Care

At the Care Center
You can usually go home the same day. You may need to stay longer if you have complications.
At Home
To help ensure a smooth recovery:
To help ensure a smooth recovery:
  • Follow your doctor's instructions on cleaning the incision site.
  • Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.


Planned Parenthood

Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services



Canadian Women's Health Network

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada



Peterson HB. Sterilization. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;111:189-203.

Sterilization for women and men. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: Updated August 2011. Accessed March 18, 2014.

Sterilization for women (tubal sterilization). Planned Parenthood website. Available at: Accessed March 18, 2014.

Tubal sterilization. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: Updated July 2010. Accessed March 18, 2014.

Tubal sterilization. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated September 26, 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014.

6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.


Revision Information