This Committee Opinion provides guidance on the current uses of hysteroscopy in the office and the operating room for the diagnosis and treatment of intrauterine pathology and the potential associated complications. General considerations for the use of diagnostic and operative hysteroscopy include managing distending media, timing for optimal visualization, and cervical preparations. In premenopausal women with regular menstrual cycles, the optimal timing for diagnostic hysteroscopy is during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle after menstruation. Pregnancy should be reasonably excluded before performing hysteroscopy. There is insufficient evidence to recommend routine cervical ripening before diagnostic or operative hysteroscopy, but it may be considered for those patients at higher risk of cervical stenosis or increased pain with the surgical procedure. In randomized trials, patients reported a preference for office-based hysteroscopy, and office-based procedures are associated with higher patient satisfaction and faster recovery when compared with hospital-based operative hysteroscopy. Other potential benefits of office hysteroscopy include patient and physician convenience, avoidance of general anesthesia, less patient anxiety related to familiarity with the office setting, cost effectiveness, and more efficient use of the operating room for more complex hysteroscopic cases. Appropriate patient selection for office-based hysteroscopic procedures for women with known uterine pathology relies on thorough knowledge and understanding of the target pathology, size of the lesion, depth of penetration of the lesion, patient willingness to undergo an office-based procedure, physician skills and expertise, assessment of patient comorbidities, and availability of proper equipment and patient support. Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL) agree that vaginoscopy may be considered when performing office hysteroscopy because studies have shown that it can significantly reduce procedural pain with similar efficacy. The office hysteroscopy analgesia regimens commonly described in the literature include a single agent or a combination of multiple agents, including a topical anesthetic, a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug, acetaminophen, a benzodiazepine, an opiate, and an intracervical or paracervical block, or both. Based on the currently available evidence, there is no clinically significant difference in safety or effectiveness of these regimens for pain management when compared to each other or placebo. Patient safety and comfort must be prioritized when performing office hysteroscopic procedures. Patients have the right to expect the same level of patient safety as is present in the hospital or ambulatory surgery setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology