The hysteroscope and it’s related products have been a breakthrough in modern medical technology. It has many uses in both men and women and uses are found all the time to operate inside the utrine. It is based on fiber optic technology that allows doctors less invasive access and to operate in a much smaller area. This type of medical procedure must be relatively new, you must think. You might, however, be a bit surprised about its advent. Here is a little of it’s story hysteroscope..
The history of the procedure dates back to much earlier than one might think possible. The first one was in 1869 (yes, 1869). The procedure only had limited success because of the elementary tools so for the most part it was not used again till the 1970’s when better technology allowed for better tools. However CO2 was used to distend the uterine and that is still used sometimes today however solutions are preferred as the eliminate the risk of a gas embolism. Also, the use of water has been abandoned as there are complication involved in using it.
Of course nowadays the procedure is much more efficient and safer than it was back then and it is used in a lot more procedures. For example, in men it is used for prostatectomies (transsurethal resction of the prostate) vascetomies, circumcisions, penectomies, penile protheses, and castrations.
In women the list is even longer. It includes tubal ligation, salpingetoms, hysterectomies, pelvic exenteration, hysterectomies, vacuum aspirations, cervical conization (LEEP), cervical cerclages, myomectomies, uterine artery embolizations, colposcopies, culdocentesis hymenotomies, vaginectomies, female genital cuttings, and vulvectomies. Granted, if you know what most of those are you either need one or have an MD after your name but they were included to demonstrate the vast number of uses that the hysteroscope and related products such as the versascope and versapoint have.
The hysteroscope of today is much more advanced than just a simple borescope. The need to be able to do much more than just light and provide a view. To that end they contain such tools as scissors to excise such things as polyps, biopsy forceps to remove samples for testing, a grasping instrument to remove foreign bodies, a loop electrode to re-sect polyps or fibroids, a scalpel, vaporizing electrodes and similar tools. Given the procedure the surgeon might need one or more of these tools. All of these can be used on ridged or flexible hysteroscopes.
Fibroids ore one the most common ailments treated with the rigid hystercope and the name of Wolfe is often associate with it. Fibroids affect one quarter of all women. They can be as small as a pea but can grow to the size of a baseball so they do need to be removed and the is done with the loop electrode or vaporizing electrode tool on the hysteroscope. Because of the effect it has on menstruation as well as the risk of infertility and other problems they do need to be removed even though they are mostly benign (in 75% of cases). This is just one more way the hysteroscope has become important in modern health care.