Send to

Choose Destination
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD002125.

Surgical treatment for tubal disease in women due to undergo in vitro fertilisation.

Author information

Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department, National Women's Hospital, Claude Road, Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand, 1003.



Tubal disease, and particularly hydrosalpinx, has a detrimental effect on the outcome of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). It has been less clear whether surgical intervention for tubal disease prior to IVF is effective in improving the likelihood of successful outcome. Most data are retrospective or poorly controlled. To date no single prospective randomised trial has shown a significant benefit from such surgical treatment prior to IVF.


To assess the value of surgical treatment for tubal disease prior to IVF.


We searched the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group trials register (10 March 2004), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library Issue 1, 2004), MEDLINE (January 1966 to February 2004), EMBASE (January 1985 to February 2004), reference lists of articles and contacted researchers in the field.


All trials comparing a surgical treatment for tubal disease with a control group generated by randomisation were considered for inclusion in the review.


Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Study authors were contacted for additional information. The studied outcomes were live birth (and ongoing pregnancy), pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, multiple pregnancy and complications.


Three randomised controlled trials involving 295 (or couples) were included in this review. The odds of ongoing pregnancy and live birth (Peto odds ratio (OR) 2.13, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24 to 3.65) were increased with laparoscopic salpingectomy for hydrosalpinges prior to IVF. The odds of pregnancy were also increased (Peto odds ratio (OR )1.75, 95%CI 1.07 to 2.86). There was no significant difference in the odds of ectopic pregnancy (Peto OR 0.42, 95%CI 0.08 to 2.14), miscarriage (Peto OR 0.49, 95%CI 0.16 to 1.52) or treatment complications (Peto OR 5.80, 95%CI 0.35 to 96.79). No data were available concerning the odds of multiple pregnancy.


Laparoscopic salpingectomy should be considered for all women with hydrosalpinges prior to IVF treatment. Currently unilateral salpingectomy for a unilateral hydrosalpinx (bilateral salpingectomy for bilateral hydrosalpinges) should be recommended, although this requires further evaluation. Further randomised trials are required to assess other surgical treatments for hydrosalpinx, such as salpingostomy, tubal occlusion or needle drainage of a hydrosalpinx at oocyte retrieval. The role of surgery for tubal disease in the absence of a hydrosalpinx is unclear and merits further evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center