Hydrosalpinx and Treatment
A hydrosalpinx is a blocked fallopian tube filled with fluid. It is often diagnosed with a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or with ultrasonography. Laparoscopy is the definitive method for diagnosis of hydrosalpinges and also provides the means for treatment.
Predictably, surgical success inversely relates to the severity of disease. For the milder forms of distal tubal disease, postoperative live birth rates can exceed 50%. Results achieved with surgery for more severe disease have varied widely but success rates are lower (10-35%) and the risk for ectopic pregnancy is higher (5-20%). Postoperative tubal patency rates far exceed pregnancy rates as patency is more easily restored than function. The majority of pregnancies occur within the first 2 years after surgical treatment of distal tubal obstruction.
The presence of larger hydrosalpinges has been shown to be associated with decreased clinical pregnancy rates with In vitro fertilization (IVF), decreased implantation rates, increased spontaneous abortions (miscarriages), and increased ectopic pregnancy rates. Therefore, salpingectomy (surgical removal of the affected fallopian tube) is often performed to increase implantation rates, clinical pregnancy rates, and live birth rates with IVF, while decreasing rates of spontaneous abortion and ectopic pregnancies.
At the Southeastern Center for Reproductive Surgery, we have been performing these operations with great success for over 20 years. Please see the "images" section on this website for more graphic information on hydrosalpinges and minimally invasive pelvic surgery.