Unilateral / Bilateral Salpingectomy
Salpingectomy surgery is a procedure to remove a Fallopian tube. Your doctor may recommend having your Fallopian tube(s) removed as a treatment for fertility problems or tubal disease, including cancer or infection.
The Fallopian tubes are the two narrow tunnels extending from the uterus to the two ovaries. During menstruation, an egg is released from the ovaries and guided into the Fallopian tubes by the tiny finger-like fimbriae. The egg then travels through the Fallopian tube into the uterus. An egg can either be fertilized by a sperm in the Fallopian tube, prompting a pregnancy, or it will be shed with the uterine lining during the woman’s next period.
Removal of both Fallopian tubes makes natural conception impossible but other fertility options, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), may still be available. Some patients may be able to preserve their Fallopian tubes with an alternative tubal surgery.
Salpingostomy and Fimbrioplasty
Some patients may need intensive treatment for Fallopian tube diseases, but may still wish to conceive naturally. As an alternative to removal of the fallopian tube, some doctors may recommend fallopian tube reconstruction.
A salpingostomy involves removing a blockage or creating a new opening – also known as a stoma – for the Fallopian tube. It is often used when a patient’s tubes have been damaged by disease, a past surgery, or adhesions. Adhesions are areas of scar tissue that cause organs to stick together.
Most salpingostomies will be performed along with a fimbrioplasty, which is a reconstructive procedure to salvage the tiny, delicate fimbriae. The fringe-like fimbriae guide a ripened egg toward the opening of the fallopian tube. Preservation of the fimbriae increases fertility for women who wish to conceive naturally.
Not every patient is a good candidate for tubal reconstruction surgery. Your doctor may not recommend this type of treatment for women who have:
- Stage 3 or 4 tubal cancer
- Severe adhesions
- A history of ectopic pregnancy
- A previous salpingostomy
What Conditions can a Salpingectomy Treat
- A salpingectomy or salpingostomy can be performed to treat several serious gynecological conditions.
- Tubal cancer or tumors
- Infection due to sexually transmitted or other diseases
- Tubal adhesions
- Scarring or blockage due to previous tubal surgery
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Ruptured fallopian tube
Infertility. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, removing one or both Fallopian tubes can often lead to better fertility outcomes than repairing the tubes. For some infertile women, having a salpingectomy has been shown to increase the chances of implantation via IVF. Furthermore, defective Fallopian tubes may put you at risk for ectopic pregnancy or adhesions.