A salpingectomy is a surgical procedure where one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) of a woman’s fallopian tubes are removed. A salpingectomy can be performed laparoscopically to reduce recovery time. Laparoscopic surgery method is minimally invasive and uses a few small incisions on the lower abdomen for the procedure.
Fallopian tubes are long, slender tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. In the female reproductive tract, there is one ovary and one fallopian tube on each side of the uterus.
Partial salpingectomy is the procedure where only a part of the tube is removed, and total salpingectomy is when the entire tube is removed. For the purposes of sterilization, it is acceptable to perform either a partial or total bilateral salpingectomy. If the surgery is necessary for a health condition, then the entire fallopian tube is typically removed.
A Salpingectomy can also be done as part of an operation to remove the uterus (hysterectomy).
Why is a Laparoscopic Salpingectomy performed?
A salpingectomy is performed to treat certain medical conditions like:
- Ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube.)
- Cancer of the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes.
- Infection in the fallopian tubes.
- Endometriosis in the fallopian tubes.
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes.
How do you prepare for Laparoscopic Salpingectomy?
During the pre-procedure consultation the Viva Eve surgeon will discuss the following:
- Anesthesia options and any allergies you may have
- Current medications, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
- Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
- Arranging for someone to pick you up after surgery
Note: in ectopic pregnancy salpingectomy procedure is considered a life-threatening emergency and an open not laparoscopic salpingectomy is frequently performed in those situations.
What can you expect during a Laparoscopic Salpingectomy?
This operation is performed under general anesthesia. A laparoscope – a thin tube with a camera on the end – is inserted into the abdomen, usually at the sight of the navel, through a small incision. Additional incisions are made in the abdomen. The abdomen is inflated to allow the surgeon to see inside. A scope with a light and camera is placed through the incision and images are sent to a nearby screen.
Surgical tools are then inserted through the small incisions in the abdomen to remove the fallopian tubes.
Viva Eve’s gynecologic surgeons always advise patients during their preop consultation that in rare cases surgery that begins as laparoscopic may need to be converted to an open procedure during the operation.
What is the follow up and recovery like for a Laparoscopic Salpingectomy?
Recovery after Salpingectomy depends on each patient’s individual situation, including the reason for the surgery and how it was performed. After this surgery, some patients are able to go home the same day and some need to stay at the hospital overnight. Laparoscopic Salpingectomy usually offers quicker recovery, less pain and a shorter hospital stay. Most patients can return to full activity in two to four weeks after surgery.
What should I expect during recovery?
It is normal for the navel and abdomen area to be sore and possibly bruised after the procedure. Patients may feel discomfort in their shoulders and back from the gas placed in the abdomen during the procedure. Some patients may have some vaginal discharge or spotting after surgery.
If bandages were used to cover up the incisions, they can be removed 24 hours after surgery, and the adhesive or stitches will dissolve on their own. Patients may shower but are advised not to have baths or go swimming for about 2 weeks after the surgery.
Patients should take it easy the first week, and then gradually increase their activity level with short walks and light activity. They should avoid lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous exercise until their Viva Eve doctor clears them for such activities. Sexual activity can resume when the patient feels comfortable, and when the physician says it’s OK.
What are the potential risks for a Laparoscopic Salpingectomy?
The risks for laparoscopic Salpingectomy surgery are similar to most other surgical operations. They include wound healing, bleeding, infection, and seroma (fluid collection) formation. Viva Eve’s surgeons will ensure that the recovery goes smoothly and if you follow the detailed postoperative instructions, you should heal quickly.
Planning for Fertility
After a bilateral Salpingectomy the patient is no longer able to become pregnant naturally.
Patients who want to preserve their ability to become pregnant should ask their doctor to refer them to a fertility specialist who can review their options that will most likely include IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) pregnancy. IVF is a process that involves fertilizing the eggs in a lab, then transferring them into the uterus.