Tubal Cannulation: Risks, Benefits, Recovery

Tubal Cannulation Procedure: Risks, Benefits, Reasons & Recovery

Less invasive than the fallopian tube surgery, 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 (one of four women who encounter difficulties in achieving pregnancy are diagnosed with a blockage in the fallopian tubes). Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

What is tubal cannulation??

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.

Do I need 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.

When is it not recommended?

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 also 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.

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 or has already undergone tubal ligation reversal.

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.

The procedure has great chances of restoring fertility for many women. Although, remember that successfully reopening the fallopian tubes is not all it has to be done to become pregnant. Pregnancy rates depend on the location of the blockage, the cause of the blockage and the specific procedure performed.

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Dr. Christine Lee, MD
Dr. Christine Lee, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Christine Lee earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Master of Science in Biomolecular Organization. Dr. Lee is Lab Director for ConceiveEasy and is board certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD).