When might I be offered a saline infusion ultrasound?
The uterus is usually able to be very accurately assessed with transvaginal ultrasound. Occasionally, there is uncertainty as to the position or nature of structures within the cavity of the uterus (endometrium). In this circumstance a small amount of saline (sterile salty water) can be instilled into the endometrial cavity. This very gently expands the cavity and may be able to demonstrate lesions not visible with standard vaginal ultrasound.
What happens at a saline infusion ultrasound?
Saline infusion sonography involves using a speculum to insert a very fine catheter into the uterus. A small amount of saline (approximately 10-20 cc) is then gently infused into the cavity. Most patients say that there is minimal discomfort, usually no more than with a pap smear.
Saline infusion sonography is a highly technical skill and involves the use of specialist catheter equipment, and therefore an extra charge is required to cover the costs associated with the specialised equipment.
Are there any Complications?
In some patients it is not possible to correctly position the catheter, and the procedure is unsuccessful.
Complications are extremely rare after this procedure. However, because a catheter has been inserted and saline has been injected into the uterus, there is a theoretical risk of infection. Infection is extremely rare after this procedure. It is suggested that you not use a tampon for at least 24 hours after the procedure.