What is a Mini-Laparotomy?

Mini-Laparotomy. Steve Debenport/Vetta/Getty Images

A mini-laparotomy is one of the two most common methods of tubal ligation (the other common sterilization procedure is a laparoscopy).

Most women opt to have this procedure done right after giving birth. For a mini laparotomy (or "mini-lap"), gas and a laparoscope are not used. General or regional anesthesia is administered, then the surgeon makes a small incision at or above the pubic hairline. She then pulls the fallopian tubes up into or out of the incision, closes them off with a device that ties and cuts them (or seals them shut), puts the tubes back into place, and stitches the incision shut.

Women generally recover in a few days.

Mini laparotomy is usually the tubal ligation option of choice for those who just went through childbirth. If this procedure is done within 48 hours of delivery, the incision is made below the belly button (instead of at the pubic bone) because the fallopian tubes are higher in the abdomen right after pregnancy.

Many surgeons prefer to perform a tubal ligation shortly after childbirth because you are already in the hospital, the abdominal wall is relaxed, and pregnancy has pushed the top of your uterus near your belly button (where the incision needs to be made). This allows for easier access to the fallopian tubes.

Pronunciation: Mini: min'i Laparotomy: lap·a·rot·o·my (lăp'ə-rŏt'ə-mē)

A Mini-laparotomy is Also Known As:

Mini-lap, tubal ligation, tubes tied, female sterilization

Alternate Spellings: Minilaparotomy


A mini-laparotomy is done to permanently prevent a woman from becoming pregnant; because of this, a minilap is considered to be a permanent birth control method.

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