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4-minute read

Key facts

  • Salpingectomy is the surgical removal of one or both fallopian tubes.
  • It may be done to help treat cancer, an ectopic pregnancy or endometriosis.
  • Salpingectomy may be done via laparoscopy ('keyhole' surgery).

What is a salpingectomy?

Salpingectomy is the surgical removal of one or both fallopian tubes.

Your fallopian tubes allow eggs from your ovaries to travel to your uterus (womb). The fallopian tubes may be removed to treat problems related to them, including cancer.

When is a salpingectomy needed?

A salpingectomy can be done for different reasons, such as:

  • cancer
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • endometriosis
  • fertility problems — when the fallopian tube is blocked


Your fallopian tubes may be removed if you have:

Some people have a high genetic risk of developing ovarian cancer. They may choose to have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to reduce their risk of getting ovarian cancer.

Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants outside of your uterus (womb). The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy is inside one of your fallopian tubes.

If you have an ectopic pregnancy in your fallopian tube, a salpingectomy may be needed. But salpingectomy is not always needed to treat an ectopic pregnancy.


If you have severe endometriosis symptoms and other treatments have not worked, your doctor may recommend removal of your:

  • uterus
  • cervix
  • fallopian tubes
  • ovaries

If you have endometriosis and your fallopian tubes are blocked and filled with fluid, it can cause fertility problems. Salpingectomy may be performed as part of fertility treatment.

How to prepare for a salpingectomy

If you are having a salpingectomy, before the surgery you will meet with your surgeon and anaesthetist to discuss the operation.

You may want to talk with your doctor about being able to become pregnant in the future and what your options are.

You will need to stop drinking and eating for some hours before your surgery. Your doctor can advise you when to stop eating and drinking.

ASK YOUR DOCTOR — Preparing for an appointment? Use the Question Builder for general tips on what to ask your GP or specialist.

What happens during the procedure?

A salpingectomy is usually done under general anaesthetic so that you are asleep during surgery.

The surgeon will make a cut in your abdomen (tummy) to remove your fallopian tube or tubes.

Depending on why you are having the surgery, it may be done as keyhole surgery — using a laparoscopy.

Your surgeon will insert an instrument known as a laparoscope into your abdomen through a small cut near your navel. They will make several other small cuts to remove your fallopian tube or tubes.

Recovering from salpingectomy

It may be necessary to stay in hospital for a few days to recover. Recovery is usually quicker after keyhole surgery.

You will be given pain-relief medicine and advised on how to take care of your wound.

If you had a laparoscopy, you may have pain in your shoulder. This pain can be treated:

  • with pain-relief medicines
  • using a heat pack
  • by moving and walking around

You'll probably need some time off work or study to rest at home. Your recovery will depend on:

  • the type of procedure you had
  • whether it was done by keyhole surgery or open surgery
  • why you needed the surgery

Your doctor can talk with you about what to expect in your situation.

Possible risks or complications

The risks of any surgery can include:

  • anaesthetic complications
  • infection
  • bleeding
  • damage to nearby organs
  • blood clots

Your doctor will talk with you about managing your fertility if you are having both fallopian tubes removed.

Resources and support

For more information, visit:

Visit healthdirect's surgical procedures pages to learn more about:

You can also call the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222 (known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria). A registered nurse is available to speak with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2023

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