Why Remove Fallopian Tubes?

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Post-salpingectomy, most patients are up and moving about within three days.
Post-salpingectomy, most patients are up and moving about within three days. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Avi Bolshakov)

The fallopian tubes are the ducts that carry eggs from a female’s ovaries to her uterus. A salpingectomy is a surgical procedure during which one or both of the fallopian tubes are removed. This surgery is performed when less invasive treatments fail.

Diagnosis: Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg begins to grow outside of the uterus and is the most common condition that requires removal of the fallopian tubes.

Diagnosis: Infection

Women affected with sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, are candidates for a unilateral salpingectomy. Other conditions that may necessitate removal of the fallopian tubes include infections caused by an intrauterine device (IUD).

Diagnosis: Hydrosalpinx

Hydrosalpinx is a Greek word that denotes an infection caused by a blocked, fluid-filled fallopian tube. The infection is usually caused by an old infection of the tube or tubes. This condition often requires the removal of one or both fallopian tubes.

Diagnosis: Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue (which lines the inside of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus. This painful condition, usually accompanied by irregular menstrual bleeding, may require either the removal of the fallopian tubes or a complete hysterectomy.

Hysterectomy

This surgical removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and cervix may be recommended in severe cases of fibroid tumors, endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. Cancer involving the female reproductive system generally necessitates a complete hysterectomy.

Surgical Procedures

A laparoscopy is the least invasive procedure for removal of the fallopian tube(s). A tiny camera is inserted through the naval and a few very small incisions are required to complete the procedure. The alternative is a laparotomy, which involves a larger incision just above the pubic bone.

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