Your doctor will talk with you about preparing for surgery. You will need to:
- Sign a sterilization consent form. This often must be signed weeks in advance.
- Have tests, such as blood tests. These help show your general health.
- Tell your doctor if you take any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies. You may need to stop taking some of them before surgery.
- Stop eating and drinking anything after midnight, the night before surgery.
- Ask an adult family member or friend to give you a ride home after surgery.
- Arrive at the hospital or surgical facility on time. You will be asked to sign certain forms and change into a patient gown.
- You'll be given an IV (intravenous line) and medication that lets you sleep during surgery.
- After the anesthesia takes effect, your surgeon makes a small incision in or below your navel.
- Your abdomen is inflated with small amounts of gas to lift the abdominal wall. This makes it easier to guide instruments to the tubes.
- Your surgeon then inserts the laparoscope to view the organs in your abdomen.
- Surgical instruments may be placed through the laparoscope or through other small incisions.
- The fallopian tubes are blocked using one of several methods (see below).
- Once the tubes are blocked, your surgeon slowly releases the gas and removes the instruments.
- The incisions are closed with sutures or staples.
Blocking the Fallopian Tubes
To block the tubes, your surgeon will use one of the methods listed below.
Cauterization uses electrical current to heat and seal each tube. The sealed ends of the tubes may then be cut.
A ring or band closes each tube, keeping egg and sperm from being able to meet. It is left in place.
A clip shuts off each tube, blocking the passage of sperm and egg. It is left in place.
You'll rest in the recovery area until you feel well enough to go home. Be sure to have an adult friend or family member drive you. You will likely feel tired, so take it easy for the rest of the day. Ask your doctor when it's okay to resume your normal routine. For the first few days you may have:
- Pain at the incision sites. Use pain relief medication if needed.
- Shoulder pain. This is caused by the gas used during surgery. You may also have a gassy or bloated feeling.
- A small amount of vaginal bleeding. Use pads instead of tampons.
Call your doctor if you have:
- Redness, drainage, or swelling at the incisions.
- A fever over 101°F.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Foul-smelling or unusual vaginal discharge.
- Severe abdominal pain or bloating.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Persistent or heavy bleeding (more than a pad an hour for 2 hours).
- A missed period, irregular bleeding, or severe abdominal pain. These symptoms can be signs of a tubal pregnancy.