Fallopian Tube Recanalization
Fallopian Tube Recanalization is a non-surgical procedure to open blocked fallopian tubes, which are the passageways for the eggs to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Fallopian tubes become blocked due to debris or scar tissue from prior surgeries or serious infections. Recanalization, the medical term for reopening, is most commonly used to treat women who are having trouble conceiving.
Holy Name Medical Center's Interventional Radiologists perform the minimally-invasive procedure, with a very small risk of infection and little exposure to radiation. A physician inserts a small catheter through the cervix into the uterus and injects a liquid contrast agent that flows through the uterine cavity and into the fallopian tubes. The uterus and fallopian tubes are then reviewed using an X-ray to determine if there are any blockages. This is called a hystrosalpingogram, which literally means a uterus-and-fallopian-tube-picture. If one or both fallopian tubes are clogged, a second catheter is inserted through the first and removes the blockage. Physicians are able to unblock at least one fallopian tube in 90 percent of cases.
Patients may feel some pressure and cramping during the procedure and the cramping may continue after the exam but it should not be severe. The actual time reviewing the uterine cavity and unblocking the fallopian tubes is only a few minutes, but the entire procedure may last about a half hour. Patients are able to go home about 30 minutes after the procedure.
- Reduced complications compared to open or robotic surgery
- Faster recovery than surgery
- This procedure takes much less time than surgery
- High success rate with the procedure