Tubal ligation (or "tying the tubes") is surgery to close a woman's fallopian tubes. These tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus. A woman who has this surgery can no longer get pregnant (sterile).
Sterilization surgery - female; Tubal sterilization; Tube tying; Tying the tubes; Hysteroscopic tubal occlusion procedure
Tubal ligation is done in a hospital or outpatient clinic.
- You may receive
general anesthesia. You will be asleep and unable to feel pain.
- Or, you may have local anesthesia (awake and unable to feel pain) or spinal anesthesia (awake but unable to feel pain). You will likely also receive medicine to make you sleepy.
The procedure takes about 30 minutes.
- Your surgeon will make one or two small surgical cuts in your belly, usually around the belly button. Gas may be pumped into your belly to expand it. This helps your surgeon see your uterus and fallopian tubes.
- Your surgeon will insert a a narrow tube with a tiny camera on the end (laparoscope) into your belly. Instruments to block off your tubes will be inserted through the laparoscope or through a separate, very small cut.
- The tubes are either burned shut (cauterized) or clamped off with a small clip or ring (band).
Tubal ligation can also be done right after you have a baby through a small cut in the navel or during a
Review Date: 02/28/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.