Pregnancy Home > Tubal Ligation Risks

Major Risks

There are also a number of major risks that are possible with tubal ligation. 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, patients with severe heart disease, diabetes, obesity, previous abdominal surgeries, tobacco abuse, or kidney or lung disease have a higher chance of problems than those who are healthier.
Possible major risks include but are not limited to:
  • Serious bleeding
  • Serious infection
  • Damage to organs -- including the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, and/or ureters
  • Damage to the intestines -- including a perforation, or a hole, in its lining or a burn injury
  • Nerve injury
  • Blood vessel injury
  • Blood clots
  • Reaction to medication or anesthesia
  • Other rare or unlikely events.
Depending on your individual situation, a major complication may lead to a larger surgical incision, a longer hospital stay, a repeat surgery, pregnancy, or hysterectomy, which is a removal of the uterus. In extreme cases, permanent disability, paralysis, or loss of life can occur.
Fortunately, major complications occur in less than 1 in 1,000 procedures, and loss of life is extremely rare.

Final Thoughts

It may be that in your doctor's practice, few of these complications have happened, or they have occurred very rarely. However, it is important for you to understand tubal ligation and its possible risks, so that you are fully informed before your procedure.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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