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J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2010 Nov-Dec;17(6):709-18. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2010.07.009.

Use of local anesthesia for office diagnostic and operative hysteroscopy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA.



There is a variety of potential advantages to performing hysteroscopically-directed procedures on an awake patient in an office procedure room setting that include increased safety, reduced utilization of resources, and improved patient satisfaction. However, the ideal approach to local uterine anesthesia has/have yet to be determined.


Identification, categorization, and evaluation of published randomized clinical trials (RCTs) comparing local anesthesia to placebo or no treatment for the performance of hysteroscopy.


The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, MEDLINE, and ACP Journal Club were queried for related RCTs. In addition, we located a number of additional studies by identifying and reviewing references in selected papers. These were then reviewed for appropriateness and categorized by allocating them to one of the following types of local anesthesia: Intracervical, paracervical, topical intracavitary, topical cervical, and combined approaches. Each were evaluated for patient factors as well as anesthetic location, anesthetic agent, time from application to procedure, instrument features, and the procedures performed.


A total of 36 studies were identified of which 19 met the criteria for our review; 6 paracervical, 4 intracervical, 7 topical intracavitary, 2 topical cervical; there was also one systematic review of RCTs. Overall, there was substantial heterogeneity in technique in all groups and only with paracervical anesthesia was there a consistent anesthetic effect demonstrated. Many studies were performed with application to procedure times that were less than the time required for maximal anesthetic effect. There were no studies identified where more than one technique was used.


It appears that paracervical anesthesia is useful but the value of other techniques is difficult to evaluate because of limitations of technique and research design. Future investigation should be designed to evaluate longer application to procedure times, a variety of anesthetic agents, concentrations and volumes, and, given the complex innervation of the uterus, strategies that target more than one site. Pain outcomes should be stratified to identify the impact on various components of the procedure. Published studies have largely been limited to diagnostic hysteroscopy so there is also a need to evaluate a greater variety of hysteroscopic procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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