Definition - What does Falloposcopy mean?

A falloposcopy is a procedure that involves introducing a tiny camera into the fallopian tubes through the vagina to assess the cell layer that lines in the inside of the tube known as the epithelium and to see if there are any obstructions in the tube that may block the passage of eggs. This procedure is helpful for the evaluation of abnormalities in the fallopian tube that can cause infertility in women, and in some cases to correct the abnormality.

FertilitySmarts explains Falloposcopy

A falloposcopy can be painful so it is typically done under sedation or general anesthesia. A larger instrument is first inserted into the uterus through the vagina to identify the opening of the fallopian tubes, through which the falloposcope is then inserted to the fallopian tube and the camera transmits the live video to a screen.

The procedure can be used to visualize the entire length of the fallopian tube from its opening at the uterus to the fimbria where it receives the eggs. A falloposcopy can be further extended through the end of the fallopian tube to see a part of the inside of the abdominal cavity.

Abnormalities in the fallopian tubes that can be detected by falloposcopy include:

  • Damage to the interior cell lining
  • Damage or abnormality of blood vessels
  • Narrowing or blockage
  • Impacted debris

Because how narrow the fallopian tubes are, a falloposcopy is considered a delicate procedure that can be associated with several complications. If not performed correctly, the falloposcope by itself can damage or rarely even perforate the fallopian tube. For this reason, it is typically not an initial test in evaluation female infertility. It may be considered if a woman is suspected to have a potentially treatable tubal factor infertility.

Some abnormalities such as narrowing and blockage can be corrected during the procedure. If the conditions of the fallopian tubes are not optimal for a naturally conceived pregnancy, alternative methods of fertilization such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be considered.

Although not commonly practiced, the falloposcope can also be inserted during open or laparoscopy surgery through the fimbria.

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