If tubal infertility is keeping you from conceiving, then Tuboplasty is also an alternative medical treatment to IVF that you can consider.
Obstructed fallopian tube is considered to be the leading cause of female infertility. Almost 20-30% of female infertility cases worldwide are attributed to tubal obstruction. Blocked or scarred fallopian tube does not allow the ovum (or female egg) to be fertilized by male sperm; thus making natural pregnancy difficult.
There may be lesions from abnormal formation of mucosa, cilia and muscularis or completed occluded tubes at the near the ovary. Obstruction of fallopian tubes may occur due to any of the following:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Post-partum infections
- Intra-abdominal infections like appendicitis and peritonitis
Tuboplasty or fallopian tubal surgery is the most commonly used technique for treating obstructed fallopian tubes. It was developed as an endoscopic procedure where a catheter is inserted for treating occluded fallopian tubes.
It is an approved line of treatment in USA and Japan but could not become clinically widespread due to the quicker emergence of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in 1980s. IVF became the first choice of treatment for tubal infertility and Tuboplasty was overshadowed by it.
It is now getting re-introduced as the potential therapeutic option for women with tubal infertility. Falloposcopic Tuboplasty is known to have a successful re-canalization rate of 94.8% and a clinical pregnancy rate of 28.9%. Tuboplasty is particularly beneficial because it restores the women’s ability for natural pregnancy and subsequent conception.
Also, there is no need for multiple hormone injections for ovarian hyperstimulation or in vitro handling of oocytes and embryos, and presents lesser chance of multiple gestations. Tuboplasty is less invasive and complications are also rare.
Various types of Tuboplasty are concisely discussed below:
- Cutting the scarred tissue within fallopian tube, known as lysis of adhesions
- Repairing the fimbriae (fringe of tissue in the fallopian tube towards the ovary), known as fimbrioplasty
- Creating an opening into the fallopian tube, known as Salpingostomy
- Removing the piece of blocked tube and joining with the rest of the patent tube, known as resection and reananstomosis
- Reconnecting the tube to the uterus, known as tubal reimplantation
Tuboplasty is performed as a micro-technique using very fine sutures, thus minimizing scarring. Tuboplasty restores the motility and functioning of the fallopian tube making it more viable for receiving the ovum which can smoothly travel down to meet sperm emerging from the other end.
If you wish to explore tuboplasty as a medical treatment for infertility, speak to your gynecologist.
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[i] Tanaka. Y, Tajima. H, Sakuraba. S, Shimokawa. R and Kamei.K. Falloposcopic Tuboplasty as a Promising Therapeutic Option in Tubal Infertility. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. Elsevier. September/October 2011.