What is hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is an endoscopic method that allows to diagnose and treat uterus pathologies. Hysteroscopy enables to view uterine malformations and the possible presence of polyps, fibroids, and cancer of the uterus; during the examination it is possible to remove them and collect tissue that will be analysed through histological examination. The reason why women undergo hysteroscopy is the presence of uterine bleeding that should look suspicious in childbearing age and especially during menopause. There are two types of hysteroscope: flexible and rigid. Flexible ones cause less pain compared to rigid ones, which however provide better images more rapidly. In addition, rigid hysteroscopes are used in case of removal procedures (operative hysteroscopy).
How is hysteroscopy done?
The hysteroscope that is equipped with a light and a small camera at the end is inserted into the vagina reaching the uterus after the uterine walls have been relaxed with a liquid like saline solution or a gas like carbon dioxide. Hysteroscopy can be executed in an outpatient facility or in an operating theatre with local anaesthesia or sedation. It is a risk-free procedure, and only on rare occasions infections or perforations of the uterus that can be treated with antibiotics can occur.
Hysteroscopy does not cause long-term risks. Diagnostic hysteroscopy takes around 10-15 minutes, while operative hysteroscopy takes between 15 and 60 minutes depending on the complexity of the procedure.
Magnetic resonance as a diagnostic technique
Magnetic resonance of the uterus can be performed with or without a contrast method. Its duration is standard, about 30-40 minutes. It is performed to evaluate uterine pathologies like endometriosis and also to evaluate the stages of neoplasms involving the uterus.
Imaging techniques generally used for the diagnosis of endometriosis are represented by ultrasound, magnetic resonance (MR) and double contrast barium enema. Magnetic resonance is executed on the basis of the severity of symptoms following the results of an ultrasound, in particular in case of the suspect of multiple endometriosis cysts. Magnetic resonance also represents a sound non-invasive imaging method to examine the uterus in case of suspected adenomyosis to allow appropriate treatment.