Tubal ligation

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Tubal ligation or tubectomy (informally known as getting one's "tubes tied") is a form of female sterilization, in which the fallopian tubes are severed and sealed or "pinched shut", in order to prevent fertilization.



There are mainly four occlusion methods for tubal ligation, typically carried out on the isthmic portion of the fallopian tube, that is, the thin portion of the tube closest to the uterus.

  • Partial salpingectomy, being the most common occlusion method. The fallopian tubes are cut and realigned by suture in a way not allowing free passage. The Pomeroy technique, is a widely used version of partial salpingectomy, involving tying a small loop of the tube by suture and cutting off the top segment of the loop. It can easily be applied via laparoscopy. Partial salpingectomy is considered safe, effective and easy to learn. It does not require any special equipment to perform; it can be done with only scissors and suture. Partial salpingectomy is not generally used with laparoscopy.[1]
  • Clips: Clips clamp the tubes and inhibits blood flow to the portion, causing a small amount of scarring or fibrosis, in turn, preventing fertilization. The most commonly used clips are the Filshie clip, made of titanium, and the Wolf clip (or "Hulka clip"), made of plastic. Clips are simple to insert, but require a special tool to put in place.[1]
  • Silicone rings: Tubal rings, similarly to clips, block the tubes mechanically. It encircles a small loop of the fallopian tube, blocking blood supply to that small loop, resulting in scarring that blocks passage of the sperm or egg. A commonly used type of ring is the Yoon Ring, made of silicone.[1]
  • Electrocoagulation or cauterization: Electric current coagulates or burns a small portion of each fallopian tube. It mostly uses bipolar coagulation, where electric current enters and leaves through two ends of a forceps applied to the tubes. Bipolar coagulation is safer, but slightly less effective than unipolar coagulation, which involves the current leaving through an electrode placed under the thigh.[1] It is usually done via laparoscopy.

Interval tubal ligation is not done after a recent delivery., in contrast to postpartum tubal ligation.

In addition, a bilateral salpingectomy is effective as a tubal ligation procedure. A tubal ligation can be performed as a secondary procedure when a laparotomy is done; i.e. a cesarean section. Any of these procedures may be referred to as having one's "tubes tied."

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