What is fallopian tubal occlusion (FTO)?
Fallopian tubal occlusion is an FDA-approved non-surgical procedure for women who want permanent birth control and want to avoid surgery to get their tubes tied . The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting. After a brief (~1 hour) recovery, the patient is discharged home.
How does FTO work?
FTO permanently blocks the fallopian tubes by placing a small, flexible metallic device called a micro-insert into each tube. The inserts are made from metals used in other medical implants. Once in place, body tissue grows into the inserts and completely blocks the fallopian tube. Blocking the tubes is intended to prevent sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg, thereby preventing pregnancy permanently.
What are the benefits of FTO?
- Very effective: 99.8% effective. No one pregnant in 3 years of follow-up for clinical trial of over 300 women. The trial is ongoing to study long term data.
- No incision: No incision is made on the abdomen or pelvis thus avoiding surgical complications with opening and operating on the abdomen and pelvis. It also does not involve cutting, crushing, or burning the fallopian tubes.
- Performed without general anesthesia: FTO is performed with conscious sedation . Medicine will be given intravenously resulting in total comfort and quicker recovery.
No hormones: The micro-inserts do not contain or release hormones.
- Rapid recovery: Women will be discharged home with a family member ~1hour after the procedure. Returning to work typically is High patient satisfaction: At the 1 week office visit after FTO, patients reported a high satisfaction with the procedure.
- Covered by most insurance carriers.
How does FTO compare with surgical procedure of tubal ligation?
The surgical ligation involves abdominal incisions, general/regional anesthesia, and 4-6 days of recovery time. FTO does not require any cutting or penetrating the abdomen and is performed as an outpatient without general anesthesia
What are the risks of FTO?
- The FTO procedure is irreversible.
- Like other birth control measures, there is a very small chance of becoming pregnant.
- Success of the FTO procedure requires successful placement of both micro-inserts (i.e. one in each of the fallopian tubes).
- Following FTO, you must use another form of birth control for 3 months. At 3 months, a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) will be performed to see if the inserts are in good position and the tubes are completely blocked.