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Outpatient hysteroscopy: traditional versus the ‘no-touch’ technique

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Objective 

To assess whether outpatient hysteroscopy using the ‘no-touch’ technique confers any advantages in terms of patient discomfort over the traditional technique. Design 

Prospective randomised controlled study. Setting 

Outpatient hysteroscopy clinic in a large university undergraduate teaching hospital. Population 

All women referred for outpatient hysteroscopy in a 12-month period. Interventions 

Women were randomised to undergo either traditional saline hysteroscopy requiring the use of a speculum and tenaculum, or a ‘no-touch’ vaginoscopic hysteroscopy which does not require a speculum or tenaculum. Each group was further subdivided to have hysteroscopy with either a 2.9-mm or 4-mm hysteroscope. Patients were asked to complete pre- and postprocedure questionnaires ranking pain scores. Main outcome measures 

The relative success of each of these techniques, requirement for local anaesthetic and pain scores at different times during the hysteroscopy were recorded at the end of the procedure. The time taken to carry out each procedure was also measured. Results 

One hundred and twenty women were recruited in this study: 60 were randomised to traditional hysteroscopy and 60 to ‘no-touch’ hysteroscopy. The overall success rate for hysteroscopy was 99%. There was no significant difference in the requirement for local anaesthetic between the two groups, but those who underwent ‘no-touch’ hysteroscopy with a 2.9-mm hysteroscope had the lowest requirement of local anaesthetic (10% compared with 27% in the no-touch hysteroscopy with a 4-mm hysteroscope group). The time taken to perform hysteroscopy and biopsy was significantly shorter with ‘no-touch’ hysteroscopy (5.9 vs 7.8 min; difference 1.9, 95% CI 0.7–3.1). There were no differences in pain scores between the groups at different times during hysteroscopy. Conclusions 

‘No-touch’ or vaginoscopic hysteroscopy is significantly faster to perform than the traditional technique. Although there was no difference in pain scores between the two techniques, local anaesthetic requirements were least in those who underwent ‘no-touch’ hysteroscopy with a narrow bore hysteroscope.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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