OVARIAN TUBES, DISEASES OF.—Among the diseases affecting the ovarian tubes the most important is inflammation, due to an extension of an inflammatory process in the uterus. This may be clue either to an infection with gonorrhoea from the male, or to wounds received during childbirth. Involvement of the peritoneum may result in acute peritonitis and death, or in a chronic inflammation of the peritonium, with long-continued suffering and invalidism. The latter affection also produces, around the opening of the Fallopian tube, dense bands of adhesions, which bring about a partial or total closure of the organ, making subsequent pregnancies impossible. The mucus or pus, as the case may be, which is secreted by the inflamed mucous membrane lining the tube, cannot find its way out through the narrow uterine end of the tube ; and consequently it collects in its lumen, producing a swelling which may vary from the size of a walnut to that of a child's head. In addition to the severe pelvic pains, the patients are greatly debilitated by the profuse haemorrhages which occur at the menstrual periods.
The milder cases are benefited by various hydrotherapeutic measures ; but in severe cases the removal of the offending tube or tubes is indicated, which may often be done through the vaginal incision.
Massage in these cases, unless conducted by a very experienced operator.
may do a great deal of harm. Inflammation of the Fallopian tubes is the most frequent cause of tubal pregnancy which, if rupture occurs, results in a rapidly fatal internal hemorrhage, unless expert medical assistance can be quickly secured.
Tuberculosis of the Fallopian tubes is a fairly frequent disease. Removal of the affected tube may succeed in establishing a complete cure even in those cases where a peritoneal tuberculosis is already present, the tubercles and the dropsy of the abdominal cavity disappearing with the extirpation of the original focus of the disease.
OVARIOTOMY.—The operation of removal of the ovaries. See CASTRA TION ; OVARIES, DISEASES OF.