Pregnancy Home > Anesthesia for Postpartum Tubal Ligation

During your procedure, anesthesia will be used to eliminate any pain. The anesthesia used for postpartum tubal ligation comes in two forms: general and spinal. General anesthesia puts you into a deep sleep during the procedure, while spinal anesthesia allows you to remain conscious (by numbing only a region of the body). It is important to discuss all of your allergies and current medications with your anesthesiologist before your surgery, so that you can reduce the risks involved with anesthesia.

Postpartum Tubal Ligation Anesthesia: An Overview

Anesthesia is used to eliminate the pain felt during a procedure. For a postpartum tubal ligation, the two most common types of anesthesia are spinal and general anesthesia. You will be given one of the two types.
Spinal Anesthesia
With spinal anesthesia for postpartum tubal ligation, your anesthesiologist will inject medicine into your lower back. This will cause you to feel numb, usually from the base of your rib cage down. To make the placement of the needle easier, you will be asked to either lie on your side curled up or to sit on the side of the table hunched forward. During the postpartum tubal ligation, you will also receive medicine that makes you feel relaxed or sleepy. Although the spinal anesthesia will take away all sensation of pain, you might still feel some pressure and movement during the procedure.
General Anesthesia
The other option for postpartum tubal ligation surgery is general anesthesia. This type uses medication to put you into a deep sleep so that you do not feel any pain, pressure, or movement during the procedure. In order to do this, you will first be asked to breathe through an oxygen mask. Then you will be given medications through your IV, which will cause you to feel pleasantly relaxed and quickly drift off to sleep. After you are in a deep sleep, a breathing tube will be placed into your windpipe to assist with your breathing throughout the operation. Your anesthesia care team will give you other medications as required during your procedure through your IV.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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