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December 18, 1972

Complications of Band-Aid Surgery For Sterilization

JAMA. 1972;222(12):1558. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210120052020

To the Editor.—  Since the article on Band-Aid surgery for female sterilization was published in Life magazine (July 28, 1972), more and more women are approaching their obstetricians and gynecologists for this procedure.In one major hospital in western Pennsylvania, laparoscopies have increased from 20 to 40 per month. Many enthusiasts among our gynecological colleagues regard this as a relatively simple procedure of a "look see, do" type, and all seem impressed by the excellent condition of the patient postoperatively. Hospital stay is reduced, and patients can be discharged in 24 to 48 hours without an unsightly abdominal scar.The procedure sounds attractive to the uninformed public, but a serious complication rate exists. In our institution, return for further surgery, averaged monthly, varies from 1.5% to 6.45%. Four cases—two bowel perforations, one hemorrhage, and one pulmonary embolism—were noted in 62 procedures done during the month of August 1972. Three of