How effective is mini-laparotomy?

Worldwide a huge number of couples are opting for voluntary female sterilization. The rapid spread of such procedures could be facilitated by the technological development and advancement in the recent years.  

Mini-laparotomy is one such method used for female sterilization. Female sterilization is meant to be an irreversible and permanent form of prevention of pregnancy. Usually, there are two procedures used by the same, mini-laparotomy and laparoscopy. The former one is tube ligation surgery while the latter one is an insertion of tubal implants. In tubal ligation, a female’s fallopian tubes are closed off by being cut and tied away. The tubal implant is a non-surgical procedure where coils are inserted to promote scar tissue build up to block the fallopian tubes.  

Both attempt to prevent the movement of the egg to the uterus and the sperm up the fallopian tubes. When the fallopian tube is blocked, sperm is unable to fertilize the egg. Both the procedures are performed by a gynaecologist or a general surgeon.

Procedure in brief

Mini-laparotomy is a form of tubal-ligation. It is a major surgery and is performed under general anaesthesia. It is performed during the first 24-36 hours post childbirth.

In surgery, one small incision is (less than 5 cm in length) is made just above the pubic hairline. The surgeon then locates the fallopian tubes and closes them. Full recovery usually takes a few days.

Advantages

•  After the procedure, the female will no longer have to worry about becoming pregnant again.

•  It causes no hormonal changes to the body.  

Disadvantages

•  The procedure is difficult to reverse. So even if there is a slight chance that you might consider having children in the future, this procedure is not meant for you.

•  Tubal ligation does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

•  If in case the procedure fails and you become pregnant, you have an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is the one where the foetus develops outside the uterus.

•  Any kind of surgery is prone to complications and the same applies to mini-laparotomy as well. The surgery might result in some or any kind of infection, bleeding, injury to the bowels, bladder, or uterus. It may also result in permanent scarring.

How effective is the process?

•  Minilaparotomy is generally considered a very effective procedure for female sterilization.

•  Effectiveness usually varies according to the procedure performed.

•  The odds are pretty much low of the female getting pregnant even after getting the surgery done.

•  As per various surveys and researches, about 0.5%  of females become pregnant after one year of surgery and around 1.3%  of females become pregnant after 5 years of having the surgery done.

•  Pregnancy may happen if the tubes grow back and reconnect with each other which would further enable the egg and the sperm to fertilize.  This usually happens if the surgery has not been performed correctly or if the patient was already pregnant during the surgery.

•  Also, in case recanalization occurs, resulting in the formation of new passage which allows egg and sperm to fuse.