New Sterilization Procedure Can Be Done Without Abdominal Incision
Kathleen Fitzgerald, MD, a clinical assistant professor at Brown University in Providence, R.I., says that she isn't sure that ob-gyns will be willing to do sterilization procedures in their offices. Office-based procedures, she says, require special anesthesia machines for administering conscious sedation as well as specially trained staff. She says that many ob-gyns may find the cost prohibitive.
But she says that a safe sterilization that could be done without making an abdominal incision would be a major advance. "When I was trained we used to do vaginal tubal procedures, but we stopped doing them because we had a lot of infections and failures," says Fitzgerald. She says that ob-gyns are interested in any procedure that can "avoid an incision into the abdomen."
Fitzgerald says that the procedure, if it passes FDA muster during clinical trials, may be a good option for women who have had multiple abdominal surgeries or women who are obese. In both cases "laparoscopy (working through a scope placed through the abdomen), which is now the gold standard, can be difficult."
Because sterilization is a more difficult procedure in women than vasectomy is for men, Fitzgerald says "I often ask couples if the man is willing to have a vasectomy because that is easier. But this procedure, if it gets approved, may make vasectomy and tubal ligation more comparable."