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Tubal Surgery

When is tubal surgery recommended

In order for a normal pregnancy to occur, at least one healthy patent tube is required. Each tube forms a passage from the uterus to the ovary. The tubes are lined with many specialised cells. Some of these bear little hairs called cilia that set up currents to facilitate the movement of the sperm towards the egg in order that fertilisation may occur. A current in the opposite direction combined with tubal movements conducts the early embryo towards the uterus.

Can this surgery treat all tubal obstruction cases

The causes of tubal obstruction were discussed in the section on tubal patency. Surgery is done to unblock the tubes. However, if the infection that caused the obstruction in the tubes was very severe, the delicate lining of the tubes may have become irreversibly damaged.

What is the success rate of this surgery

Pregnancy success rates can be higher than 70% in cases of sterilisation reversal and when there are only fine adhesions distorting the tubes or covering the ovaries. Also with advances in surgical techniques, the introduction of the operating microscope, the use of finer instruments and non-reactive suture materials the success rate of surgery has improved greatly. Apart from the essential requirement of surgical skill, another factor that will affect the success rate will be the degree of the tubal problem. 

Are there any risks to this surgery

Tubal surgery can result in an increased risk of a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. It must be remembered that even if the success rate is as low as 30% for the more severe cases of tubal obstruction, this is still better than the success rate of in-vitro fertilisation.

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