Tubal cannulation is a procedure meant to clear a blockage in the fallopian tubes

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Tubal Cannulation

Tubal cannulation is a procedure meant to clear a blockage in the fallopian tubes, which is one of the most common causes of female infertility.This is a procedure devised for the treatment of cornual occlusion (or proximal tubal blockage) in women with known tubal factor infertility. A tiny wire is placed through the cervix, uterus and in to the tube either under x-ray guidance or via a hysteroscope (a small telescope).

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Hysteroscopic tubal cannulation allows visualisation of the entire uterine cavity, which may be useful in diagnosis and treatment of other coexisting problems at the same time of cannulation.

Tubal cannulation gently helps to open the tube and may relieve an obstruction in the cornual area. Laparoscopy can be performed at the same of the hysteroscopy to ensure that the tubes are not perforated with the wire and also to inject some dye through the uterus into the tubes to verify that they are open.

Laparoscopic treatment of tubal adhesions and fimbrial phimosis.

Some patients with an otherwise normal fertility evaluation can have subtle adhesions over the fallopian tubes and ovaries. These adhesions appear like cobwebs (or cling-film) over the surface of these organs and can prevent the release of the egg during ovulation, prevent the tubes from picking-up the eggs and limit the motility of the tubes. Injury to the distal end of the tubes may also result in loss of or damage to the feathery appendages of the tube (fimbria), known as fimbrial phimosis. Patients at high risk for these problems include those who have had intrauterine devices for long time, those with a history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), appendicitis or ruptured ovarian cyst.

How it is done?

During this procedure, the fallopian tubes are open and the medical specialist can better understand the cause of the blockage. In some cases the doctor deliberately scars the fallopian tubes, to prevent pregnancy for women who do not wish to have children, thus being a permanent birth control method. It can be done with or without anesthesia, or under the effect of a mild sedative, which calms the patient’s nerves, helping her to relax. There is no need of hospitalization and the patient will likely go home the same day.

Who needs it?

If an imaging test has been made, and it clearly shows a blockage in one or both fallopian tubes, you may need a cannulation procedure. The more the blockage is situated in the part of the tube closest to the womb (proximal tubal obstruction), the higher the chances of the procedure’s success. Usually, the cannulation procedure is recommended by fertility specialists before having more expensive fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization.

Who does not need it?

There are some women who should avoid the procedure. These candidates include patients with genital tuberculosis or some specific other infections. Women, who had fallopian tube surgery in the past, are not good candidates for tubal cannulation, nor are patients presenting extensive scarring in the fallopian tubes or women with severe blockage, such that it is difficult for a catheter to pass through.

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What lowers chances of success?

It has lower chances of succeeding if the patient has a blockage too far away from the uterus or in the narrowest part of the fallopian tube, an inflammatory condition of the fallopian tubes, or severe scarring or another tubal disease.

What are the risks?

Besides the fact that this procedure should be done by someone well-trained in the procedure, the risks include failure when restoring the fallopian tube function, perforation of the fallopian tube’s wall, or an infection of the surrounding tissues.

However, the procedure has great chances of restoring fertility for many women.


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