A salpingectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of one of the fallopian tubes. Removal of both fallopian tubes is called a bilateral salpingectomy. This procedure is most commonly performed in cases of ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy can be dangerous and cause severe pain and bleeding. If the fallopian tube has been damaged or ruptured, it may be necessary to perform a salpingectomy.
A salpingectomy is often performed along with a hysterectomy, a surgery to remove the uterus. In some cases, especially ovarian cancer, it is performed in addition to removing the ovaries, as the fallopian tubes and ovaries share the same blood supply.
The Salpingectomy Procedure
The salpingectomy procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and it may be done laparoscopically through a small incision, using tiny instruments. In emergency situations, a laparatomy may be performed. With a laparatomy, the fallopian tube is removed through a larger open abdominal incision.
Risks of a Salpingectomy
While a salpingectomy is considered a safe and in many cases, necessary procedure, there are risks which may include:
- Damage to nearby organs
- Decreased fertility
A salpingectomy does not affect either the uterus or the ovaries, but it does decrease the patients chances of becoming pregnant in the future. In cases of ectopic pregnancy, a salpingectomy is a necessary procedure to alleviate serious and possibly deadly medical consequences.