What to Expect from Bilateral Tubal Ligation

Prior to Surgery

  • You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), Clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood thinners.
  • Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of the surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that you may have.
  • You will have blood samples taken in case you need a blood transfusion.
  • Do not smoke. This will help you to recover quicker.

On the Day of the Surgery

  • If you are to have general anesthesia, you will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

After Surgery

  • Most patients can go home the same day.
  • You may have increased cramping and vaginal bleeding for a day or two after the procedure.
  • You may experience gas pains for about a day or so due to gas administered during the procedure. This may extend into your upper abdomen and shoulder. Walking will help relieve this pressure.
  • This surgery has a quick recovery with most patients feeling much better within the first few days.

Recovery: what to expect in the next few weeks

  • Most women feel better within the first week following surgery; however, do not lift, push or pull any heavy objects for a few weeks.
  • Do not resume sexual intercourse or douche until your doctor says it is OK.
  • Full recovery takes about four weeks to allow for internal healing.

Bilateral Tubal Ligation Q&A

What does bilateral tubal ligation involve?

A patient is fully sedated and four incisions are made in the lower abdomen. One incision is made in the navel (belly button) where gas is delivered to help visualize the region. Three small incisions made in the lower abdomen are used for the surgical instruments.

The surgeon uses the laparoscope to locate the fallopian tube. Each tube is cut and removed. The remaining ends are ligated or cauterized and the skin is closed with tiny, dissolvable sutures.

How many incisions are made?

Four incisions are made – one in the navel and three in the lower abdomen.

How long do I stay in the hospital?

Patients will normally be able to go home the same day, but in some cases, there may be an overnight stay required.

What is the recovery time?

Most patients are fully recovered in four weeks. If a patient has a physically demanding job that requires lifting or pushing heavy objects, check with the doctor before returning to work.