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Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 1995 Sep;22(3):519-40.

Tubal cannulation.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


While uterotubal chromopertubations were performed early in the 1970s with the introduction of hysteroscopy, cornual cannulation was extended and adapted to fluoroscopy. The disadvantages of fluoroscopy include the difficulty in ruling out tubal spasm, inability to evaluate distal tubal disease, and other pelvic abnormalities. Tubal cannulation has emerged as an excellent alternative to treat patients with cornual obstruction. Only those patients in whom cannulation fails should be subjected to microsurgical reconstruction. While cannulation with coaxial catheters began under fluoroscopy, the use of the hysteroscope simplifies the technique. With laparoscopy the hysteroscopic approach enables tubal cannulation and evaluation of the entire pelvis. Treatment of additional problems affecting the fallopian tubes, particularly adhesions and endometriosis, is possible. Laparoscopy helps in monitoring the procedure and visual assessment of tubal patency. The ability to observe the uterotubal junctions directly by hysteroscopy provides an excellent approach for tubal cannulation. There are two techniques to cannulate the fallopian tubes, either with coaxial catheters or catheters with distal balloons, but the result obtained with these two techniques is similar. The simplicity of coaxial catheters makes this approach more appealing, and with the hysteroscope one can avoid exposure to radiation. The results obtained with tubal cannulation are encouraging and this procedure should be offered as the initial method to attempt treatment of tubal cornual obstruction. Often it can represent an excellent alternative to microsurgical tubal anastomosis, avoiding a laparotomy and extended disability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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