The procedure is done under sterile conditions to avoid the
possibility of introducing infection. The overall time to do the
procedure is about a half an hour, most of which is spent in getting
you comfortable, readying the equipment, and cleaning the skin. The
actual time spent in evaluating and unblocking the tubes is usually
only a matter of minutes and you will be able to leave about a half
hour after your procedure is completed. You must be accompanied by an
adult who can take you home afterward. The doctors will explain to you
and your companion the results and a letter will be sent to your
doctor as well.
Preparation for the FTR procedure
Two days before your procedure, your gynecologist will prescribe an
antibiotic called Doxycycline to be taken twice a day, which you will
continue up to and after your procedure for two more days. Since FTR
is sometimes uncomfortable (though usually much less than a
hysterosalpingogram, owing to much more delicate equipment being
used), an intravenous line is placed prior to the procedure.
Short-acting medications will be given for relaxation and pain relief.
For this reason, you will be instructed to not eat anything after
midnight the night before. You will also be asked to take Ibuprofen
400 mg (2 pills) the night before and the morning of your procedure.
Outcomes for fallopian tube recanalization
Usually, both fallopian tubes can be unblocked. On average, about a
quarter of couples will conceive, most within a cycle or two. The FTR
procedure was timed so that there was no risk of being fertile at the
time of your procedure. You may begin trying to get pregnant again
once the spotting has stopped, and don't have to wait an extra cycle
in between. Douching is not advisable in general, but particularly
after the FTR because the cervix may be slightly open for a day or so.
Successful FTR and pregnancy are lower when severe scarring is
present from prior surgery or bad infections, such as PID (Pelvic
Inflammatory Disease). FTR unclogs the tubes, but does not reverse the
process at work that caused them to become blocked in the first place.
For that reason, about 1/3 of patients will reocclude their tubes by
about 6 months. You may wish to consult your doctor if you have not
gotten pregnant after 6 months and he or she is thinking about
enhancing your fertility, such as giving you injections to stimulate
your ovaries. It is advisable in that case to make sure that your
tubes are still open. An interventional radiologist can perform an HSG
and safely repeat the FTR if blockage is again found.
Side effects of fallopian tube recanalization
Most women will have a little spotting for a day or two afterward.
We will give you a pad in recovery and you may wish to have some pads
at home in case of spotting. There should be no lingering pain or
other unpleasant sensation. If you experience pain, cramps, fever, or
vaginal discharge, please contact your gynecologist immediately. If he
or she is unavailable, contact Stanford
Interventional Radiology and we will help with your problem.