There are a few different sterilization methods available today, and they fall into two camps: Incision methods (you go under the scalpel) and non-incision methods (no cuts).
The incision methods include Laparoscopy, Mini-laparotomy, and Laparotomy. Laparotomy is the most major surgery of the three, but it’s also the least common. It requires a hospital stay for a couple of days and the recovery time can take weeks. Laparoscopy and Mini-Laparotomy are less intense, don't necessarily involve overnight hospitalization, and recovery time is faster.
With the non-incision method Essure, a skinny, tube-like instrument passes through the opening in your cervix and uterus so that a small insert can be placed in each fallopian tube. Essure contains a 1 ½” metal coil; scar tissue forms around the inserts to block your tubes.
Non-incision sterilization is simpler and less expensive: actual insertion can take just three to 15 minutes, and you go home the same day. You don’t need general anesthesia or surgery, and you recover faster. Plus, no cut means no visible scar. You’ll need to use a back-up birth control method for three months, then have an x-ray to be sure the tubes are totally blocked. (The incision methods are effective immediately.)
You can read more about all of these procedures here: Association of Reproductive Health Professionals or find information about Essure from the manufacturers at www.essure.com.