Salpingectomy: Purpose, The Procedure, and Potential Risks

definition of salpingectomy

It’s a term that describes the surgical removal of a Fallopian tube.

The Fallopian tubes, also known as Oviducts or Uterine tubes, are female structures that consist of narrow ducts located in the abdominal cavity.

Their primary function is carrying a fertilized egg from the ovary to the womb.

However, sometimes the sperm can’t reach the egg due to a blockage in the Fallopian tube. That is a huge issue for women who want to get pregnant.

In other cases, a disease, an infection, or a condition may be affecting the Fallopian tubes.

Medical experts sometimes may resort to Salpingectomy to treat their patients under such circumstances.

Salpingectomy refers to the process of surgically removing one or both Fallopian tubes while leaving the uterus and ovaries undamaged.

Depending on the patient’s perspective regarding conception as well as their condition, doctors may have the person choose between two types of Salpingectomy:

  • Unilateral Salpingectomy, which refers to the surgical procedure that removes only one Fallopian tube. Patients with one remaining Fallopian tube can still conceive and reproduce.
  • Bilateral Salpingectomy means surgically removing both Fallopian tubes. Sometimes, it entails the removal of the ovaries and uterus as well.

Doctors only consider performing a Bilateral Salpingectomy in the most severe of cases.


Many reasons and situations can call for this surgical procedure, but some are more common than others.

Many medical experts recommend this surgical procedure when the patient has an Ectopic Pregnancy, which refers to a condition in which the fertilized egg gets stuck in the tube instead of moving to the uterus.

Some healthcare providers also use Unilateral Salpingectomy in cases of Salpingitis.

Salpingitis consists of an infection that results in the inflammation of the Fallopian tubes. The affected section of the structure may develop scar tissue.

Usually, doctors treat such cases with medication. But when drugs fail to save the structure, they may need to resort to a Unilateral Salpingectomy.

Some medical experts recommend this surgical procedure to deal with cases featuring sexually transmitted diseases, which can often cause inflammation in the Fallopian tubes.

Women who undergo abortion have a high risk of developing an infection in the pelvic area. Several doctors may treat these patients with a Salpingectomy.

Other cases that may require a Salpingectomy are the ones in which the patients who have their Fallopian tubes blocked.

One condition that can cause such blockage is Hydrosalpinx, which refers to the abnormal distension of one or both Fallopian tubes with serous or clear fluid.

Doctors will consider treating their patients with a Salpingectomy if they are predisposed to Ovarian Cancer. This procedure can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer in that particular area.

However, when dealing with some particular conditions, medical experts don’t see Salpingectomy as a “treatment,” they instead consider it just a necessary step before moving to additional procedures.

If the patient is looking for effective contraception, doctors can offer Bilateral Salpingectomy as a potential choice.

Still, health care providers must advise the patient to carefully consider this decision because the procedure is permanent and irreversible.

The Procedure

Medical experts can use several techniques to perform a Salpingectomy. However, the most typical way to proceed is Laparoscopy.

Doctors make a small incision in the abdominal area near the navel. They insert the laparoscope, a medical instrument that resembles a small telescope to identify what to remove.

Surgeons will insert another probe through a second incision near the pubic area to assist in viewing the surgical site.

When it comes to Unilateral Salpingectomy, the doctors clamp and cauterize the affected Fallopian tube, and then they cut it from the rest of the nearby reproductive parts.

Then, surgeons suture the underlying mesosalpinx and close the abdominal incision.

More often than not, Bilateral Salpingectomy entails a more invasive approach called Laparotomy, which requires a surgeon to make a large incision in the lower abdomen to allow a better exploration of the area.

Potential Risks of Salpingectomy

Like many other treatments and procedures, Salpingectomy carries the possibility of patients suffering from adverse reactions.

Some of those risks are related to allergic responses to anesthesia, bleeding, and even potential damage to parts surrounding the Fallopian tubes, which would include blood vessels and nerves.

In a few cases, the bowel can get injured which would mean the patient may need additional surgical interventions.

Another potential complication is an intestinal blockage, which would lead to stomach cramps, bloating, and repeated burping.