Definition - What does Salpingectomy mean?

A salpingectomy refers to surgical removal of one or both of a woman’s fallopian tubes. A salpingectomy is often performed to manage an ectopic pregnancy, where a fertilized egg instead of implanting in uterus, implants and grows in the wall of the tube. This, if not treated, can be fatal. Other conditions which may require a salpingectomy in order to prevent infertility and other complications include:

  • Hydrosalpinx (fluid collection in tubes leading to infertility)
  • Cancer
  • Infection of tubes (salpingitis), often from STIs like gonorrhea or chlamydia
  • Prophylactic Salpingectomy (in patients at risk of developing ovarian cancer)

A salpingectomy should not be confused with a salpingostomy, which is a procedure to remove a blockage from a fallopian tube.

FertilitySmarts explains Salpingectomy

The fallopian tubes play a central role during fertilization. They carry the egg to the uterus, and also serve as a spot for fertilization to occur, which means the fallopian tubes need to be open for sperm and egg to meet. Any disease affecting a fallopian tube has an impact on fertility.

A salpingectomy is a surgical procedure carried out under local or general anesthesia, the duration of which depends on the underlying cause, type of procedure, and presence of complications.

Along with routine blood tests and ultrasound, a hysterosalpingogram is also done to visualize obstruction in the tube by injecting a dye through the vagina into the uterus and tubes and obtaining x-ray images.

The different variations of the procedure include:

  • Partial Salpingectomy involving removal of a part of the tube only
  • Total/complete Salpingectomy involving removal of the entire tube
  • Unilateral Salpingectomy removes only one tube
  • Bilateral Salpingectomy removes both the tubes

Women are able to conceive with only one fallopian tube.

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