Fallopian Tube Recanalization
Blocked fallopian tubes (occlusion) can be a cause of infertility for many females. The tubes often become occluded due to an accumulation of mucus or debris that forms a plug-like object. Blockages can occur in just one fallopian tube or both. Women who have such a proximal occlusion may benefit from a Fallopian tube recanalization procedure.
Women who have active uterine bleeding, active pelvic infections, have had recent surgery or are currently pregnant are not candidates for this procedure. Because the fallopian tubes are used during ovulation, physicians recommend that this procedure be performed between days six and 11 of the menstrual cycle, which is after a women’s period, but prior to ovulation.
During a recanalization procedure, a speculum is inserted into the vagina to allow physicians access to a woman’s cervix. Then a catheter is passed into the cervix to the Fallopian tube. If the Fallopian tube is occluded, a small guidewire is advanced through the tube to open it up. Contrast dye is then injected to ensure that there is no leak from the fallopian tube. The procedure itself takes approximately 30 minutes.
If the procedure is successful, the estimated rates of conception are approximately 33 percent. For a small number of patients, the fallopian tubes become re-blocked (occluded) and they require an additional procedure six to 12 months later.