Fallopian tube recanalization (FTR) is a nonsurgical procedure to clear blockages in the fallopian tubes, part of a woman’s reproductive system.
The fallopian tubes are important for female fertility. They are the passageways for the eggs to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. During conception:
• The ovary releases an egg, which travels into the fallopian tube.
• Sperm travels into the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg.
• The resulting embryo is nourished and transported to the uterus where the pregnancy continues.
A common cause of female infertility is a blockage of the fallopian tubes, usually as the result of debris that has built up. Occasionally, scarring from surgery or serious infection can lead to a blockage as well.
Fallopian tube recanalization (FTR) is a nonsurgical procedure our interventional radiologists use to treat these blockages. Recanalization is the medical term for “reopening.”
During the procedure, which does not require any needles or incisions, we will:
• Place a speculum into the vagina and pass a small plastic tube (catheter) through the cervix into the uterus.
• Inject a liquid contrast agent (sometimes called a dye, although nothing is stained) through the catheter
• Examine the uterine cavity on a nearby monitor using an X-ray camera.
• Obtain a hystero-salpingogram or HSG. Literally, that means a “uterus-and-fallopian-tube-picture.”
• Determine if there is a blockage and if it is located on one or both fallopian tubes.
• Thread a smaller catheter through the first catheter and then into the fallopian tube to clear the blockage.