Tubal ligation or tubectomy (also known as having one’s “tubes tied” (ligation)) is a surgical procedure for sterilization in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are clamped and blocked, or severed and sealed, either method of which prevents eggs from reaching the uterus for fertilization. Tubal ligation is considered a permanent method of sterilization and birth control.

Bipolar Coagulation The most popular method of laparoscopic female sterilization, this method uses electrical current to cauterize sections of the fallopian tube. Depending on the number of sites coagulated, tube damage is typically only 2 or 3 centimeters in length and pregnancy rates after reversing this procedure are about 70%.

Fimbriectomy By removing a portion of the fallopia n tube closest to the ovary, fimbriectomy eliminates the ovary’s ability to capture eggs and transfer them to the ovary. Reversing this procedure involves opening the remaining fallopian tube and folding out the inner tubal lining so that egg capture is again possible. This procedure has the lowest success rates and repair is therefore not recommended. In vitro fertilization is usually the preferred treatment in these cases.

Tubal ligation is considered major surgery requiring the patient to undergo general anesthesia. It is advised that women should not undergo this surgery if they currently have or have had a history of bladder cancer. After the anesthesia takes effect, a surgeon will make a small incision at each side of, but just below the navel in order to gain access to each of the 2 fallopian tubes.