A woman who thought her Hysterogram was normal

Each holiday season I receive many wonderful cards from patients, most accompanied by photos of their new families. There are usually some from people I have not heard from in years, and its great to see these photos because they are not of babies, but of pre-teen, on their way to adulthood, beautiful boys and girls. This year was no exception. When I get time, I try to call as many of these card-givers as I can, but a card from a memorable patient from years ago elicits an immediate response. After receiving a card with a picture of 4 kids, I picked up the phone and called the sender. I had had a very comforting conversation about her overcoming her fertility problems, and she reminded me of how our relationship started with a hysterogram.
She was seeing me for a second opinion. As with all of my patients, I asked for the films of the hysterogram another doctor had performed(if it has not been done I do it myself). I did not want the report, just the films. In her case, the report and her first doctor said the tubes were open. When I looked at the films, I had to tell her that her tubes were not open, they were blocked, and this was the reason she could not get pregnant. The reason my diagnosis was different was that one tube did have dye coming out, but it was through a tiny hole on the side, and not through the larger opening at the end. So the radiologist read it wrong, and her doctor didn’t look at the film, he just went with the report. Over the next few years she was treated with a combination of surgery and IVF, the result being 4 healthy kids.
So the bottom line is your doctor needs to carefully look at the films, not the report. If you ever go for a second opinion, bring the films so the new doctor can read them too. This story is a very common scenario. I am sure there will be later postings about hysterograms and the wrong diagnosis.

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