Fallopian tube recanalisation by selective salpingography

Clinical Radiology

You should have already had a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and this will have confirmed you have proximal fallopian tube obstruction. If you have not yet had this procedure then please contact your referring Doctor as soon as possible to discuss this.

You have been now referred to the Department of Clinical Radiology for a procedure called fallopian tube recanalisation by selective salpinography.

Why do I need this procedure?

The function of the fallopian tubes is to collect the mature ovum (egg) from the ovaries and provide passage for the fertilised egg to reach the uterus for implantation. Sometimes the fallopian tubes can become blocked.

This procedure will attempt to open up these blockages and allow the egg to be fertilised which hopefully will result in successful conception.

This procedure is carried out under fluoroscopic guidance, this is a type of X-ray imaging that shows a continuous live X-ray image on a screen.

Preparation for your procedure

You can eat and drink as normal for this procedure and take your normal medications.

You will need to start a short course of antibiotics before the procedure. Details about this will be discussed with you by your referring Doctor and the antibiotics will help to minimise the risk of infection.

The procedure can only be done in the first 10 days of your menstrual cycle, counting the first day of your period as day 1, therefore you must telephone the clinical radiology department on 01709 423132 on the first day of your period.

As soon as we have this information we can start the process of booking your procedure and booking you a hospital bed. This procedure does not usually involve an overnight stay.

You will attend the clinical radiology department from the ward on your bed, you will be asked to wear an examination gown.

Your identification and allergy details will be checked by a Radiology Nurse and a Radiographer.

You will also be required to have a urine pregnancy test.

The procedure

The Radiologist (specialist x-ray consultant) will explain the procedure to you including the risks and you will be asked to sign a written consent form.

You will be asked to lie on an x-ray table, in the same position used for your Hysterosalpingogram. The Radiologist will clean the vagina with a gauze swab  and a speculum will then be inserted into the vagina. A speculum is an instrument that allows the Radiologist to see the cervix.

A thin plastic tube called a catheter will then be inserted into the cervix and used to inject contrast media into the uterus (womb) to attempt recanalisation (opening up the fallopian tubes).

The catheter will be removed once the procedure is completed.

The Radiology Nurse will monitor your clinical observations and provide reassurance and support throughout the procedure. You can choose to have  pain relief and/or sedation during this time. Please note: if you choose to have sedation then this may delay your discharge home.

You may feel some discomfort following this procedure which can be similar to period pains or discomfort from a smear test. You can take simple pain relief to help with this at home.

How long will the procedure take?

Usually, the procedure can take up to 30 minutes and when it is finished the Radiology Nurse will safely transfer you back to the ward on your bed.

After your procedure

Once you return to the ward the ward nurse will continue to monitor your clinical observations at regular intervals, once you feel well enough and after a minimum of 2 hours bed rest you will be allowed home.

Please arrange for someone to collect you from the hospital as driving is not advised on procedure day.

You may start trying to conceive the day after your procedure.

When am I notified of the results?

The results will be sent to your hospital Doctor who will discuss them with you at your next clinic appointment with them.

Possible risks of the procedure

There is a small risk of fallopian tube perforation (a hole in your fallopian tube) but this does not have any long-term consequences and will heal by itself.

There is also a small risk of subsequent ectopic pregnancy (which could be due to blocked fallopian tubes).

There is also the chance that we may not be able to open either one or both fallopian tubes.

The Radiology Nurse will also advise you on what to do should you experience rare post procedure complications such as fever or bleeding.

How to contact us

Clinical Radiology Department 

For general enquires about your appointment 

01709 423132 

For enquiries about preparation for your examination, or to speak to a Radiology Nurse 

01709 427086 

You may reach an answering machine. Please leave your contact number, and the Nurse will phone you back between the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Fallopian tube recanalisation by selective salpingography - patient information leaflet
Produced by The Clinical Radiology Department, December 2021.  
Revision due December 2023. Version: 1.0  
©The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust 2021. All rights reserved.

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  • Page last reviewed: 15 February 2023
  • Next review due: 15 February 2024