Tubal Ligation Complications

Major Tubal Ligation Complications

There are also a number of major complications with tubal ligation that can occur. These are uncommon; however, your overall health will play a role in your likelihood of developing problems and how well you will recover from them.
For example, women with severe heart disease, diabetes, obesity, previous abdominal surgeries, tobacco abuse, or kidney or lung disease have a higher chance of complications than those who are healthier.
Possible major complications of tubal ligation include but are not limited to:
  • Failure to produce sterility, meaning the operation does not prevent future pregnancy
  • Serious bleeding
  • Serious infection
  • Damage to organs, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, and/or ureters
  • Damage to the intestines, including a perforation (a hole) in its lining or a burn injury
  • Blood vessel injury
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve injury
  • Hernias, which may include a rupture of the incision or the diaphragm
  • Complications from the air placed in the abdomen (stomach), such as air going into a blood vessel or the space outside the lung
  • Reactions to medication or anesthesia
  • Other rare and unlikely events.
Depending on the individual situation, a major tubal ligation complication could lead to a longer stay, a blood transfusion, or a repeat surgery. A surgery such as this could possibly include immediate major abdominal surgery, a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), or, in rare instances, placement of a colostomy.
Other major risks, in extreme cases, may lead to permanent disability, paralysis, or loss of life.
Fortunately, major problems with tubal ligation occur in less than 1 out of 100 procedures. Loss of life occurs in less than 2 out of 100,000 procedures. Therefore, this procedure is about six times safer than driving a car and two to three times safer than being pregnant.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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