Unless you’re an OBGYN, then odds are you don’t know the difference between a salpingolysis, a salpingostomy, and a salpingectomy. After all, they’re very technical terms that describe similar –– but not identical –– procedures. However, if you’re concerned about your fertility and reproductive wellness, then it’s important to understand the distinctions between these three surgeries that relate to the fallopian tubes. Thankfully, we’re here to help you do just that. Here’s everything you need to know on the subject:
A salpingectomy is the oldest of the procedures, and it’s also the simplest to understand. During a salpingectomy, a doctor will completely remove either one or both of the fallopian tubes. Why would a doctor perform such a surgery? There are two very good reasons. First, salpingectomies can be carried out for contraceptive purposes. They are more effective at ensuring sterilization than other fallopian-tube surgeries. (Note, salpingectomies cannot be reversed, though it is possible for a woman to conceive with just one fallopian tube.) Second, salpingectomies may be done preemptively to protect women who have a high risk of developing ovarian cancer.
A salpingostomy differs from a salpingectomy in several key ways. For one, doctors don’t remove the fallopian tube during a salpingostomy. Rather, they’ll make a small incision to create a new distal opening for the fallopian tube. This may be done to 1) remove an ectopic pregnancy (which can present a serious health risk to women) or 2) to remove adhesions in order to restore fallopian-tube integrity. Doctors may also employ a salpingostomy to treat a hydrosalpinx, a condition in which a fallopian tube becomes blocked with liquid. Salpingostomy is a form of tuboplasty.
Salpingolysis, unlike the previous two procedures, involves the removal of adhesions that can occur on the fallopian tubes. One of the most common causes of these adhesions is endometriosis. In this condition, tissue that normally grows inside the uterus, grows outside of it –– often on the fallopian tubes. Endometriosis is common, (it affects 200,000 women in the US per year), it can be painful, and it can impair a woman’s ability to conceive. Thankfully, doctors can perform a salpingolysis to remove these adhesions and restore tubal functionality. Salpingolysis is a form of tuboplasty as well.
These three surgeries each have different objectives and can produce very different outcomes. Sometimes doctors are forced into performing one of these surgeries. Again, it’s worth remembering that issues like ectopic pregnancy and ovarian cancer are very serious and can be fatal. Other times, doctors may perform these surgeries to alleviate pain. And, lastly, doctors can perform either a salpingolysis or salpingostomy to restore tubal functionality and allow women to be able to conceive.
Dr. Joseph Hazan is an expert in the field of tuboplasty and has years of experience helping women improve their chances of conception. Tuboplasty may involve either the reversing of a tubal ligation procedure or clearing blockages that occur naturally in the fallopian tubes. In either instance, Dr. Hazan may be able to help you. Contact him here at 636-928-1800 to schedule a consultation.