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FERTILITY TREATMENT

Fallopian Tube Blockage

We are the regional referral specialists in fallopian tube surgery.  All three physicians have received subspecialty training to repair fallopian tubes. Obstruction of the fallopian tubes is a significant cause of infertility.  Obstruction occurs in one of two places: where the tube originates passing through the uterine wall (called the interstitial fallopian tube area); or at the ovarian end of the tube which results in dilation of the tube and a condition called a “hydrosalpinx.”

It is possible by way of an outpatient telescopic surgery (laparoscopy/hysteroscopy) with small incisions in the abdomen to treat blockage of the fallopian tube where it passes through the uterine wall.  Using a catheter similar to catheter systems used to open coronary blood vessels by interventional radiology, obstructed fallopian tubes can often be successfully opened and if the rest of the tube is normal a reasonable chance for pregnancy will result.  The exact chance for pregnancy depends upon patient age and other factors.  There is an increased risk of tubal pregnancy after this type of surgery.

Fallopian tube obstruction at the ovarian end of the tube with tubal dilation and “hydrosalpinx” formation is a more severe form of damage. This condition can also be treated by way of an outpatient telescopic surgery. Surgery can be performed to attempt to open the fallopian tube although the success of this procedure is quite low-again with an increased risk of tubal pregnancy. Tubal blockage in this area is best managed by doing in vitro fertilization.  If a hydrosalpinx is present, it may reduce the chance of success with in vitro fertilization treatment and therefore it is typical to remove the damaged fallopian tube prior to IVF.

Tubal obstruction may also be present from previous tubal ligation.  “Reversal of sterilization” will be discussed in another area. Surgeons at RMSCVA perform all of the surgical procedures mentioned above.