Laparoscopy, also known as laparoscopic sterilization, is one of the two most common methods of tubal ligation (the other common sterilization procedure is a mini-laparotomy). A tubal laparoscopy is considered to be a minimally invasive procedure. Typically, you will be given general or regional anesthesia. Your surgeon will make a small incision, about half an inch long, in or bellow the belly button. A harmless carbon dioxide gas is injected into the abdomen, elevating the abdominal wall off of the pelvic organs and allowing your surgeon to get an unobstructed view as well as room to operate. Next, a laparoscope (a small, thin, telescope-like instrument with a light) is inserted through the incision to view the tubes.
The surgeon then inserts a smaller device used to move, hold, and close off the fallopian tubes. This device could be inserted either through the laparoscope or through a second, tiny cut made just above the pubic hairline. The surgeon closes the fallopian tubes by using rings, clamps, clips, or by sealing them shut with an electric current (electrocautery). The laparoscope is withdrawn, and the surgeon will then suture the incision(s) closed.
A tubal laparoscopy procedure takes about 30 minutes. There is minimal scarring, and most women can go home the same day as the procedure.