Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hysterosalpingography a.k.a HSG

Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is a radiologic procedure to investigate the shape of the uterine cavity and the shape and patency of the fallopian tubes. It entails the injection of a radio-opaque material into the cervical canal and usually fluoroscopy with image intensification. A normal result shows the filling of the uterine cavity and the bilateral filling of the fallopian tube with the injection material. To demonstrate tubal rupture spillage of the material into the peritoneal cavity needs to be observed. A synonym to hysterosalpingography is uterosalpingography.

I went for my HSG on Tuesday. It was definitely an experience I wouldn't want to remember! My gynea had mentioned that it will be a short but very painful procedure. My threshold for pain is quite high, so I thought it would be okay since I was given a very strong pain killer to be taken an hour before the procedure. BUT, what was suppose to be a 15-minute procedure, became an hour long!

The radiologist & her team were very nice, gentle, and attentive. She explained each instrument that she was going to be using. First off, the speculum. Then the balloon catheter (similar to the vacuum syringe shown above). It's a very thin rubbery catheter. She kept trying to put it in and get it into my uterus, but it kept taking a u-turn back on it's own. She tried again and again, still failed. Finally, she said she has to use the old method - using a metal cannula (it's a long metal rod as thick as a pencil, with a screw looking top). Oh my God, the pain at this point, was beginning to be unbearable. Yet, I told myself, let's get it over and done with it! They managed to get it into my uterus, but the moment the injected the dye in, the pain shot up from 5 to 10, and I still held on to it, and they immediately tried to take the x-rays while injecting the dye, but alas, the dye came out back!! It didn't go through the uterus and into the tubes! At that point, the pain was already surpassed 10. They had to re-do everything all over again. My energy level was going down the drain.

My case then was already considered an emergency case. And in the history of the hospital, I am the second patient to have encountered such complications. The doctor and nurses were feeling so pity for me. They had to SOS a gynea to come in. And the moment I saw the gynea, I felt a bit relieved. I have met her before and she's a great doctor. She is the head of the OBGYN for that hospital. She immediately got the update, and said to me, she has to remove the speculum and check to see what's blocking the catheter. She checked, and said I have a retroverted uterus. So again, starting with the speculum, she had to clip my cervix and get the nurse to hold it with one forcep, then clip my uterus and get the radiologist to hold with another forcep, and then she tried with the thin rubbery catheter, still no success. She had to use the metal cannula and after such agony, it was successfully in my uterus. The worst wasn't over! The dye! The most excruciating pain I have ever felt in the past one year doing all sorts of tests and scans etc! I was in tears as she kept injecting the dye and x-rays were taken. Oh my God! was what came out from me!

Throughout the procedure, the gynea kept telling me "I'm sorry sayang, I know it's very painful, but I have to do it in order to get this right", "I'm sorry sayang, I'm so sorry","It's usually not this painful and long"... One of the nurse even held my hands throughout the procedure and as the pain got worse, tried to keep talking to me to avoid me from passing out.

Poor husband of mine, was pacing up and down outside the radiology room. Thank God when they told me I have some complications about 15 min into it, I told the nurse, to please inform him that it's going to take longer than expected. When he saw the gynea rushing into the room, he had a feeling it's bad. And when he saw me being helped by the nurse to walk out, his facial expression showed it all. He didn't have to say a word, I knew how he felt. 

It's one procedure I do not want to repeat, ever! During the birthing process, you have the most magnificent gift after all the pain etc, to be able to hold your child. Oh, even for that, you can opt for an epidural!
Metal Cannula


  1. Oh my, im scheduled to have the same procedure. I also have a retroverted uterus. So sorry you had to go through that painful experience, i hope and pray that mine is easier and faster. Thanks for sharing. XOXO =)

    1. No problem! Thanks for reading my blog! Hope all went well. Take care and good luck!


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