Approximately 5 out of every 1,000 women who undergo a tubal ligation become pregnant one year after the procedure, while 13 out of 1,000 are at risk for becoming pregnant five years post-procedure, according to WebMD. Pregnancy can occur if the procedure is performed incorrectly, if the fallopian tubes grow back together, or if they form a new canal through which the sperm can fertilize the ovum. Women who become pregnant after a tubal ligation have a greater risk of ectopic pregnancies.
Laparoscopic tubal ligations are typically performed under general anesthesia and result in fewer complications than the other procedures, reports WebMD. The surgeon inserts the viewing and surgical instruments through small abdominal incisions. She closes the fallopian tubes by burning, banding or cutting them. Many women experience abdominal distention and pain in the back and shoulder from the gas used to inflate the abdomen. Although complications from laparoscopic procedures are rare, serious injuries to the bladder or bowel are possible if contact is made with the surgical instrument upon insertion.
A laparotomy, or open tubal ligation, is performed with general anesthesia or an epidural and requires a large incision in the abdomen, explains WebMD. This procedure is recommended for women who have undergone previous abdominal surgery and those with pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis. These conditions often cause scarring and adhesions that render the laparoscopic method less safe. Most women return home on the same day as the procedure and resume normal activities within a week, including sexual intercourse.