Investigators at IHR have been leaders in the field of gynecoradiology since its inception.
Gynecoradiology uses x-ray equipment to diagnose and treat causes of infertility. IHR is currently the only fertility center in the nation with dedicated x-ray equipment. Most other fertility centers refer patients to radiology departments.
IHR's expertise in gynecoradiology lies in our willingness and ability to individualize our approach to best suit each and every one of our patients. If you have any questions as you review the material on gynecoradiology, please contact us for a FREE Gynecoradiology E-Mail Consultation..
The principle advantage of gynecoradiology is a superior diagnostic capability that virtually replace the use of laparoscopy as a diagnostic tool. In doing so, the patient is saved from having to undergo a surgical procedure, including the risk and cost of general anesthesia. In addition, gynecoradiology allows for immediate intervention in a minimally invasive fashion, again replacing major surgical procedures.
For example, based primarily on research at IHR, proximal tubal occlusions are now routinely treated by transvaginal tubal catheterisation procedures rather than, as used to be the case, major abdominal surgery. Similarly, intrauterine adhesions (Asherman's syndrome), uterine septae and other uterine as well as tubal pathology can be treated in an ambulatory fashion, with the patient observing the procedure on a screen.
For an Gynecoradiology exam a woman is brought in to a special room that has the x-ray equipment. She is asked to lie down and put her legs in stirrups, just as if she were going to have a PAP smear. A speculum is placed in the vagina and the opening to the uterus (called the cervix) is visualized by the doctor. After cleaning the cervix with an iodine solution, a long, narrow, flexible catheter is inserted through the opening of the cervix until the tip is inside the uterine cavity. A balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated to hold the catheter in place. The catheter is connected to some plastic tubing through which a special dye is passed into the uterus. This dye looks like water to the eye but it shows up on x-ray film because it blocks the passage of the x-rays leaving "unexposed film'. Therefore everywhere the dye flows looks white (or black if the image is reversed).
As the dye fills the uterus, x-rays are taken every few seconds, this reveals any abnormalities inside the uterus such as a split cavity, uterine fibroids or adhesions.
As more dye flows into the uterus, some will begin to fill the fallopian tubes. If the tubes are patent along their entire course, eventually the dye will "spill" out the other side.
This method for performing HSGs utilized an x-ray machine which snapped static pictures. Generally about three or four pictures were taken. At the IHR, digital images are created and stored in computer memory. These images can then be manipulated in a number of different ways using a computer to help a physician distinguish subtle abnormalities. Typically 50 to 60 images are generated from a basic HSG.
Perhaps less known is our work with individuals and couples who are considering assisted reproduction, but who are uncertain of their next step. We encourage anyone, before they make a decision, to consult with us. Currently, we are offering a FREE Gynecoradiology E-Mail Consultation.