January 15, 2017 Liza Swedarsky, MD FacebookTwitterPinterestA Laparoscopic Tubal Sterilization is the desired birth control method for women who no longer want children and prefer permanent sterilization. The procedure is considered non-reversible and should be heavily considered prior to undergoing surgical therapy. Reversal is possible but pregnancy rates are approximately 40% and often lower. The procedure also increases one’s risk for ectopic (tubal) pregnancy if pregnancy is achieved. Laparoscopy is a type of minimally invasive procedure in which small incisions between 0.5 to 1 cm are made on the abdominal wall through which an instrument called a laparoscope can be placed. The laparoscope allows the surgeon to visualize inside the abdomen and pelvis. The abdominal cavity is able to be visualized by filling it with an absorbable gas, typically, carbon dioxide. Small instruments can be placed through the small incisions allowing the surgeon to either use heat (cautery) to seal the fallopian tubes closed, clips, or occlude the fallopian tube. Various methods are used. Patients must receive general anesthesia during the procedure and typically go home the same day. The advantages of laparoscopy over traditional mini-laparotomy for sterilization, which is performed after delivery include less pain and less scarring.