Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content


3-minute read

What is a salpingectomy?

Salpingectomy is the surgical removal of one or both of a woman's fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes allow an egg from the ovaries to travel to the uterus. The tubes may be removed to treat problems related to them, including cancer.

Why is the procedure performed?

A salpingectomy is performed for several different conditions, including:

  • Fallopian tube cancer, ovarian cancer and other cancers of the reproductive organs. In these cancers, the reproductive organs such as the fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries and cervix, as well as nearby lymph nodes, are removed.
  • Ectopic pregnancy, when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. Salpingectomy may be performed to remove the ectopic pregnancy.
  • Endometriosis, a condition where the tissue lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. In severe cases and if other treatments have not worked, the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes may need to be removed.
  • Blocked fallopian tubes. Fallopian tubes that are blocked with a fluid build-up can cause fertility problems. Salpingectomy may be performed as part of fertility treatment.
  • An infected fallopian tube.

Salpingectomy may also be performed as a form of permanent contraception or to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in women who have surgery for non-cancerous conditions.

How to prepare for the procedure

If you are having a salpingectomy, before the surgery you will probably meet with the surgeon and anaesthetist to discuss the operation. You will likely need to avoid drinking and eating for some hours before the surgery. Your doctor can advise you.

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

What happens during the procedure?

A salpingectomy may be performed under general anaesthetic so that you are asleep during surgery. The surgeon will make a cut in the abdomen to remove the fallopian tubes.

If only the fallopian tubes are to be removed, the surgery may be performed using keyhole surgery (laparoscopy). The surgeon will insert an instrument known as a laparoscope into your abdomen through a small cut near your navel.

What to expect after the procedure

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

What can go wrong?

The risks of a laparotomy include:

  • infection
  • bleeding
  • damage to nearby organs

Keyhole surgery usually involves less risk of complications occurring than laparotomy.

More information

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

Last reviewed: April 2021

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.