What Happens During Sterilizations that Require an Incision?
Laparoscopy is one of the two most common types of sterilization.
First you will get either general, regional, or local anesthesia. Then, your abdomen is inflated with an injection of harmless gas (carbon dioxide). This allows your health care provider to see your organs clearly. Then the provider makes a small cut near your navel and inserts a laparoscope (a rod-like instrument with a light and a viewing lens) to locate the fallopian tubes. The health care provider also may insert an instrument for closing the tubes, usually through a second small opening. Sometimes only one incision and one instrument are used.
The procedure can be performed in outpatient surgical clinics. It usually takes 2030 minutes. Very little scarring occurs. Women often go home the same day.
Mini-laparotomy is another common type of sterilization. It is often performed after childbirth. No gas or laparoscope is used. Usually, local anesthesia is used. A small cut is made in the lower abdomen, just above the pubic hair or just below the navel. The health care provider locates the tubes, then ties, clips, or uses a probe with an electrical current to block them off. Women usually recover in a few days.
Laparotomy is major surgery. It is less commonly used than the other incision methods.
The health care provider makes a two-to-five-inch cut in the abdomen. The provider locates and closes off the tubes. The operation requires general or regional anesthesia. You may need to be hospitalized for 24 days. It may take several weeks at home to completely recover. If the procedure is done after delivery, your hospital stay may be extended by 12 days.