The recovery time from a tubal ligation varies from woman to woman. While most physicians recommend resting for a few days, some claim that their patients went back to work the same week. While that is the goal after any operation, unforeseen complications can delay the healing time significantly and it is the patient's responsibility to research all of the available facts before making a decision to have the tubal ligation done.
The procedure is done with either a spinal or a general anesthetic. Many women opt to have their surgery done shortly after a vaginal birth, or immediately following a c-section. Either way, the tubes are easier to reach right after birth, as the uterine area is still enlarged. There are several different methods of performing the tubal ligation, but the most common is to place clips on the tubes, which cut the blood supply and sever them shortly after the procedure.
As with any other surgical procedure, the first few days are the most difficult. Several hours after the operation, some women complain of pain in their shoulder area. Medical professionals attribute this to gas escaping from the bowel cavity from the procedure. This is usually mild and short lived. Drainage can also be expected from the surgical site, whether it is in the pubic area, or a laparoscopic incision through the belly button. On average,this can continue for one to two days after the surgery.
While many women feel like getting out and about within a week of their operation, many are going to need more time to heal. The pain from the surgery can vary in intensity, and some women need to take it easy for a few extra days, until they feel able to move about without discomfort. Complications after the operation can affect the pain level and healing time of the tubal ligation.
According to the Coalition of Post Tubal Women, there are complications that can present problems after the post-surgical period. Pelvic adhesions and scar tissue can cause significant, long term pain and difficulties. Pelvic adhesions are a potential risk and can cause pain for years after the operation. A pelvic adhesion is when a surgical site forms scar tissue that connects itself to the healthy tissue surrounding it. In the case of a tubal ligation, scar tissue surrounding the severed fallopian tubes can adhere to the inside of the pelvic region and cause great long term discomfort.
If a woman decides that permanent sterilization is the best option, then she needs to assess the risks and benefits of the tubal ligation versus other new methods that can be performed in the doctor’s office. While the surgery itself poses certain risks, most doctors would agree that the benefits outweigh those risks and suggest the procedure for women who have decided not to have any more children.
Coalition of Post Tubal Women:
MedTV- Recovery from Tubal Ligation