The complication rate among 282 women undergoing interval tubal sterilization by laparotomy was studied as part of the prospective multicenter Collaborative Review of Sterilization. Using a standard definition of major complications, the overall complication rate was 5.7 per 100 procedures. Women experiencing complications had a significantly lengthened postoperative recovery period before the resumption of normal activities. Important risk factors for complications included diabetes, cigarette smoking, previous abdominal or pelvic surgery, and a history of pelvic inflammatory disease. Women with an initial abdominal incision of 7 cm or longer had three times the complication rate of women with shorter incisions. These results provide objective evidence that, for tubal sterilizations, minilaparotomy (laparotomy with a small abdominal incision) is associated with lower morbidity than is conventional laparotomy.
© 1983 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists