A hydrosalpinx is a fallopian tube that is blocked with serous fluid at its distal end. The name root "hydro" means water and refers to the type of fluid causing the blockage. The Greek word "salpinx" means trumpet and refers to the shape of the fallopian tubes. A hydrosalpinx can prevent the eggs in that fallopian tube from becoming fertilized and is therefore a common cause of infertility. A surgeon may be able to repair a hydrosalpinx and can also remove it completely.
Use ultrasound to diagnose a large hydrosalpinx. Ultrasonography is the least invasive diagnostic procedure for a hydrosalpinx, but it may not detect a small hydrosalpinx. The fallopian tube is normally not visible on an ultrasound image while a hydrosalpinx usually appears as a sausage shape.
Diagnose most hydrosalpinxes with X-rays in a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). A medical technician injects a special dye through the cervix to serve as a contrast agent. The technician then takes X-rays of the fallopian tubes and a radiologist reviews the images for the characteristic sausage shape of the hydrosalpinx.
Use antibiotics to treat some hydrosalpinxes. This will not cure the hydrosalpinx but it may reduce the chances of a recurrence of any inflammatory processes that can make the hydrosalpinx more severe.
Get a neosalpingostomy to correct the blockage of the fallopian tube. The surgeon uses a laparoscope to make an incision in the distal end of the affected fallopian tube to relieve the blockage. This surgery is typically performed only in younger women with healthy eggs as it has a high recurrence rate.
Remove the hydrosalpinx completely with a laparoscopic salpingectomy. This procedure is typically performed on older women, especially if they have passed menopause.