A woman's reproductive system is complex The fallopian tubes, which are among the most delicate of these organs, are also usually the most prone to disease and damage. The things that can go wrong are:
- A pelvic infection or inflammation could scar the tubes for life, and lead to infertility
- Ectopic pregnancies, laparoscopic surgeries in the abdominal region and similar procedures could permanently damage the fallopian tubes
Why Surgical Treatments for Damaged Fallopian Tubes do not work
- Salpingostomy was a common procedure used in the past to correct damaged fallopian tubes. In this procedure a new opening was created surgically at the fimbrial end. However the scarring caused by the surgery meant that the results were poor.
- In some cases, where the cornual end ( the proximal end, where the tube opens into the uterine cavity) is blocked because of debris, the debris can be dislodged using selective tubal cannulation. This is a non-surgical procedure, that offers a 50% success rate for opening the tube, provided the rest of the tube is normal
The reason surgical results for repairing damaged fallopian tubes is poor is because the tubes do not function normally even after surgery, since their inner lining ( the cilia) has been damaged. This cannot be repaired.
What about " massage therapy" to remove the adhesions and scar tissue which can cause the tubes to get blocked ? Deep tissue massage therapy ( the Wurm technique) to break soft tissue adhesions has been aggressively marketed under different names ( for example , clear passage therapy ). They claim that as a result of applying deep pressure through the abdominal wall, it’s possible for the therapist to selectively remove the patient's adhesions , thus allowing the pelvic organs to start functioning normally – and that this will reduce pain and restore fertility.
This is a false claim. And to understand why, read Why Massage Techniques to Remove Adhesions are all Rubbish
While we cannot repair damaged fallopian tubes, the good news is that IVF treatment allows us to bypass the blocked tubes, and has a high success rate. IVF becomes the best option for most patients with blocked tubes.