Schematic frontal view of female anatomy
Salpingectomy refers to the surgical removal of a Fallopian tube. It is often related to tubal pregnancies and is a procedure that is preferred over its ovarian tube-sparing counterparts due to the high rate of recurrence in said ectopic pregnancies.
The procedure was performed by Lawson Tait in 1883 in patients with a bleeding ectopic pregnancy; this procedure has since saved the lives of countless women. Other indications for a salpingectomy include infected tubes, (as in a hydrosalpinx) or as part of the surgical procedure for tubal cancer.
Salpingectomy has traditionally been done via a laparotomy; more recently however, laparoscopic salpingectomies have become more common as part of minimally invasive surgery. The tube is severed at the point where it enters the uterus and along its mesenteric edge with hemostatic control.
Salpingectomy is commonly done as part of a procedure called a salpingo-oophorectomy, where one or both ovaries, as well as one or both Fallopian tubes, are removed in one operation (a Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (BSO) if both ovaries and Fallopian tubes are removed). If a BSO is combined with a hysterectomy, the procedure is commonly called a TAH-BSO: Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with a Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy.
Salpingostomy / Salpingotomy
Salpingectomy is different from a salpingostomy and salpingotomy. The latter two terms are often used interchangeably and refer to creating an opening into the tube (e.g. to remove an ectopic pregnancy), but the tube itself is not removed. Technically, the creation of a new tubal opening (os) by surgery would be a salpingostomy, while the incision into the tube to remove an ectopic is a salpingotomy.
Salpingectomies were performed in the United States in the early 20th century in accordance with eugenics legislation. From Buck v. Bell (1927):
The Virginia statute providing for the sexual sterilization of inmates of institutions supported by the State who shall be found to be afflicted with an hereditary form of insanity or imbecility, is within the power of the State under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Buck v. Bell while not expressly overturned, was implicitly overturned by Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942), in which the Court held that a person's choices whether to aid in the propagation of the human species was a cognizable fundamental right guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, a liberty retained by the people under the 9th Amendment of the Constitution.
- Pal L, Parkash V, Rutherford TJ (2003). "Omental trophoblastic implants and hemoperitoneum after laparoscopic salpingostomy for ectopic pregnancy. A case report". The Journal of reproductive medicine 48 (1): 57–9. PMID 12611098.
- Buck v. Bell