A tubal ligation is a type of sterilization for a female performed by tying, cutting or otherwise blocking the fallopian tubes, through which an egg travels from the ovary, through the fallopian tube and down into the uterus. The ligation, or tying, of the tube prevents the eggs from reaching the uterus, where it may be fertilized by sperm. Tubal ligation is usually a permanent procedure that prevents unwanted pregnancy.
Who Benefits from Tubal Ligation?
Women who don't want any or want any more children may benefit from a tubal ligation procedure. Women who fear they carry genetic predispositions for illness, cancer or disease may also opt for a tubal ligation to reduce the risk of passing along defective or diseased genes to their children.
Tubal Ligation Procedure
While there are several methods or approaches to tubal ligation, one of the most common is a laparoscopic approach. This results in very small incisions in the lower abdomen, reduced healing time and minimal scarring.
Two or three very small incisions (usually less than 1/2 inch in length) are made in the abdominal wall. A laparoscope is inserted into one of these incisions, enabling the doctor to view the fallopian tubes and surrounding pelvic structures. The exposed fallopian tube is severed in two places. The severed section is removed. Each end of the severed tube is tied or ligated.
In a different technique, the severed ends of the fallopian tubes may also be sealed through a coagulating method using electric cautery. In other techniques, the severed ends of the fallopian tubes may be clamped with clips or bands. Your doctor will discuss various techniques with you.
Following the procedure, which usually takes less than an hour, the small incisions are closed with a suture or clip, which may be removed about one week after the procedure.
How Much Does Tubal Ligation Cost?
Cost for gynecology treatments and surgical procedures depend on where the surgery is performed. Some gynecology treatments and procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis while others require hospitalization. The trend for gynecology surgery today is through laparoscopic approaches. In the U.S., the average cost of a tubal ligation is $4,500, depending on geographical location, which prices ranging as high as $6,000.
International medical facilities such as those found in Turkey, Thailand and India might save medical travelers between 40% and 75% on direct-care costs, and often include pricing for accommodations.
Who Performs Tubal Ligation?
Gynecologists and gynecologic surgeons or pediatricians are required to undergo basic medical training in addition to 2 to 4 years of postgraduate training in gynecology obstetrics or gynecology, also known as OB/GYN. Training focuses on immediate and direct patient care. After training and residency, physicians are able to sit for exams for certification.
Members of gynecologic and obstetrical professional and surgical associations and organizations are required to maintain their professional standing, obtain a lifelong learning and self-assessment education, complete cognitive expertise through examinations and licensing and undergo periodic evaluation for performance in practice.
Accredited and certified surgeons should belong to associations or other similar organizations or boards in the surgeon's country of origin. Always verify the education, training and experience of any surgeon who may perform surgery and make sure they are licensed to practice in the facility of your choice.