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Minilaparotomy Tubal Ligation


Minilaparotomy Tubal Ligation (Inpatient Care) Care Guide

  • A minilaparotomy tubal ligation is surgery to tie the fallopian tubes. It is also called a minilap, tying the tubes, or being sterilized. A fallopian tube is attached to each side of your uterus. Each month one of your ovaries releases an egg. The egg then travels through one of the tubes and into your uterus. The tubes are tied and cut, burned, or have clips put on them during this surgery.

  • Having a tubal ligation means you cannot have anymore children. You must be sure you do not want more children. You will still have monthly periods. It should not change the way you feel about having sex.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


There are always risks with surgery. You may bleed more than usual, get an infection, have trouble breathing, or get blood clots. Caregivers will watch you closely for these problems. A tubal ligation can be reversed once you have it done. But, it does not mean you will be able to get pregnant again. Call your caregiver if you are worried or have questions about your surgery or care.


Before Surgery:

  • Blood Tests: You may need blood taken for tests. The blood can be taken from a vein in your hand, arm, or the bend in your elbow. It is tested to see how your body is before surgery. You may need to have blood drawn more than once.

  • Call Button: You can use the call button when you need your caregiver. Pain, trouble breathing, or wanting to get out of bed are good reasons to call.

  • Chest X-ray: This is a picture of your lungs and heart. Caregivers use it to see how your lungs and heart are doing before surgery. Caregivers may also use the x-ray to look for signs of infection like pneumonia.

  • Gown: A hospital gown is needed so that caregivers can easily check and treat you. Put your gown on so it opens in the back. You may not be allowed to wear pajama bottoms to the operating room. This is because you may need monitors on your skin during surgery.

  • Informed Consent: You have the right to understand your health problem in words you can understand. You should be told what tests, treatments, or procedures may be done to treat your problem. Your doctor should also tell you about the risks and benefits of each treatment. You may be asked to sign a consent form that gives caregivers permission to do certain tests, treatments, or procedures. If you are unable to give your consent, someone who has permission can sign this form for you. A consent form is a legal piece of paper that tells exactly what will be done to you. Before giving your consent, make sure all your questions have been answered so that you understand what may happen.

  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Pre-Op Care:

You may be given medicine right before surgery, which makes you, feel sleepy and more relaxed. You are taken on a cart to the room where your surgery will be done. Caregivers help you get comfortable on the bed. A belt may be put over your legs for safety. If you get cold, ask for more blankets.

  • Anesthesia: This is medicine to make you comfortable during surgery. You may be awake or completely asleep. You and your caregiver will decide which type of anesthesia is best for you. Do not sign legal documents for 24 hours after having anesthesia. Also, do not drive or use heavy equipment. The medicine may make you drowsy and your thinking unclear. Ask your caregiver for the CareNotes™ handout about anesthesia if you want more information about anesthesia. Following are the different types of anesthesia.

    • General Anesthesia: This is medicine given as a liquid in your IV. Or, it is given as a gas through a face mask or a tube put in your mouth and throat. This tube is called an endotracheal tube or "ET" tube. Usually you are asleep before caregivers put the tube into your throat. And, the ET tube is usually removed before you wake up. You are completely asleep and free from pain during surgery.

    • Regional anesthesia: Medicine is injected to numb the body area where the surgery or procedure will be done. You will remain awake during the surgery or procedure.

  • Heart Monitor: This is also called an EKG or an electrocardiogram. It is a painless test to see how your heart is working. Sticky pads (3 or 5) are placed on different parts of your body. Each pad has a wire that is hooked to a TV-type screen. This screen shows a tracing of each heartbeat. Your heart is being watched all the time to make sure your body is handling surgery well.

  • Pulse oximeter: A pulse oximeter is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on your finger, ear, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine. Never turn the pulse oximeter or alarm off. An alarm will sound if your oxygen level is low or cannot be read.

  • Vital signs: Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.

During Surgery:

A caregiver cleans your abdomen (belly) with soap and water. This soap may make your skin yellow but is cleaned off later. Sheets are put over you to keep the surgery area clean. A 1 to 2 inch incision (cut) is made above the pubic hairline in your lower abdomen. The incision is made just below your navel (belly button) if the surgery is done within 48 hours of having a baby. Your tubes are tied and cut, burned, or clips are put on them. The incision is closed with stitches (thread) or staples. steri-strips (thin strips of tape) may be put over your incision.

After Surgery:

You are taken to a room where you can rest until you either wake up or feeling returns to the numbed area. You are then allowed to go home. Or, if you are staying in the hospital you may be taken back to your room. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is OK. A bandage is used to cover your stitches or staples. This bandage keeps the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A caregiver may remove the dressing soon after surgery to check the incision.

  • Activity:

    • You may need to rest in bed. You may be allowed out of bed once you are feeling better usually the day of surgery. If you are not allowed out of bed for awhile, you should exercise your legs in bed. When your caregiver says it's OK, do leg exercises in bed. You can lift one leg off the bed and draw big circles with your toes. This will help make your legs strong and help you from getting blood clots. Stop if you become tired.

    • Your caregiver will tell you when it is OK to get out of bed. Call your caregiver before getting up for the first time. If you ever feel weak or dizzy, sit or lie down right away. Then call your caregiver.

  • Prevent constipation: High-fiber foods, extra liquids, and regular exercise can help you prevent constipation. Examples of high-fiber foods are fruit and bran. Prune juice and water are good liquids to drink. Regular exercise helps your digestive system work. You may also be told to take over-the-counter fiber and stool softener medicines. Take these items as directed.

  • Deep Breathing and Coughing: This breathing exercise helps to keep you from getting a lung infection after surgery. Deep breathing opens the tubes going to your lungs. Coughing helps to bring up sputum (spit) from your lungs for you to spit out. You should deep breathe and cough every hour while you are awake even if you wake up during the night.

    • Hold a pillow tightly against your abdomen when you cough to help lessen the pain. Take a deep breath and hold the breath as long as you can. Then push the air out of your lungs with a deep strong cough. Put any sputum that you have coughed up into a tissue. Take 10 deep breaths in a row every hour while awake. Remember to follow each deep breath with a cough.

    • You may be asked to use an incentive spirometer. This helps you take deeper breaths. Put the plastic piece into your mouth and take a very deep breath. Hold your breath as long as you can. Then let out your breath. Use your incentive spirometer 10 times in a row every hour while awake.

  • Diet: You may be able to eat when bowel sounds (stomach growling) are heard. Your caregiver will listen to your stomach for bowel sounds using a stethoscope . Ice chips are usually given first and then liquids (water, broth, apple juice, or lemon-lime soda). If you don't have problems after drinking liquids, caregivers may then let you eat soft foods. Some examples of soft foods are ice cream, applesauce, or custard. If you do OK with soft food, you may begin eating a regular diet.

  • Medicines:

    • Antibiotics: This medicine may be given to help you fight infection caused by a germ called bacteria. Antibiotics may be given by IV, as a shot, or by mouth.

    • Pain Medicine: Caregivers may give you medicine to lessen your pain. This medicine may be given in your IV, as a shot, or by mouth. Tell caregivers if the pain does not go away or comes back.

    • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.

    • Stool Softeners: You may be given stool softeners to keep you from getting constipated. Constipated means it is hard have a BM. Stool softeners make your BM softer so you do not need to strain when having a BM.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.