To demonstrate an outpatient vaginoscopic technique for treating multiple vaginal polyps.
Demonstration of surgical technique using slides, pictures, and video.
Thirty-two-year-old nulligravid woman presenting to the gynecology clinic with one episode of intermenstrual bleeding, regular menstrual cycles with normal flow, and no history of dysmenorrhoea or dyspareunia. The genital local examination was normal, and speculum examination showed multiple vaginal lesions like polyps in the proximal posterior two-thirds and right lateral vaginal walls. Her transvaginal ultrasound read a normal uterus with a right ovarian simple cyst.
The surgeon performed an outpatient operative vaginoscopy using a 5-mm continuous flow office hysteroscope with a 2.9-mm rod lens optical system and a 5F working channel. Distension of the vagina was achieved with a normal saline solution, and an intrauterine pressure of 50 to 60 mm Hg was maintained by an irrigation and aspiration electronic pump. An inspection of the vaginal walls, fornices, and the external cervical os (Fig. 1) revealed 10 vaginal lesions like polyps in the proximal two-thirds of the posterior and right lateral vaginal wall. The vaginal lesions (Fig. 2) varied in size from 0.5 cm to 4 cm. An excisional biopsy was performed and the sample sent for histopathologic evaluation. The vaginal lesions <2 cm in length were excised by cutting the base with scissors or using a bipolar vaporization electrode, which was connected to an electrocautery unit by a bipolar high-frequency cord. Vaginal lesions >2 cm were excised with the TruClear 5C Hysteroscopic Tissue Removal System (HTRS) with a zero-degree scope using the 2.9-mm incisor with a 5-mm cutting window at one end attached to a reusable handpiece with two connectors—one to the motor unit and second to the suction bottle with a collection bag. The overall diameter of TruClear 5C is 5.7 mm, and the optic size is 0.8 mm. The same irrigation pump is compatible with HTRS, and the pressure was increased to 150 mm Hg to maintain vaginal distension. Three factors influenced our decision to use the HTRS intraoperatively: the number and size of the vaginal lesions and the surgical time in the outpatient setting. A mechanical system that works on the principle of excising and aspirating tissue, the HTRS incisor has a rotatory action with the excising window placed against the most distal part of the vaginal lesions. The cutting action is controlled via a foot pedal attached to a motor control with 800 rotations per minute. The handpiece remains stationary while the polyp is excised and aspirated through the window into the collection bag. Minimal bleeding occurred and stopped spontaneously. The institutional ethics committee exempted this case report from review, and we obtained informed written consent from the patient.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
All vaginal lesions excised in an outpatient setting via vaginoscopy technique without anesthesia.
The operative time with the Bettocchi hysteroscope was 14 minutes, and HTRS was 6 minutes. The patient did not complain of pain but did describe minimal discomfort, rated on the visual analog scale as 2 (where ≥5 is severe pain). She was discharged 1 hour later. The histopathology was reported as vaginal endometriosis (ectopic presentation of endometriosis is rare, accounting for 0.02% of cases). After surgery, she was started on cyclical oral contraceptive pills (OCP) in the combination of 30 mg of ethinyl estradiol + 2 mg of dienogest because she desired to delay pregnancy by 1 year. She remained asymptomatic for 6 months. These contraceptive hormones are available in the form of oral pills, vaginal rings, and transdermal patches, and a physician can provide OCP continuously or cyclically. Continuous OCP is more efficacious for control of dysmenorrhoea, but cyclical OCP is preferred because it is affordable, tolerable, effective, produces no unpredictable bleeding, and slows the progression of the disease. (A cohort study found the contraceptive vaginal ring to be more effective for symptom-control in rectovaginal endometriosis with higher patient satisfaction than the transdermal patch; vaginal rings or transdermal patches are not available in some countries.)
Vaginoscopy allows a more in-depth visualization of the vagina with complete inspection and removal of all polyps. Vaginoscopy is feasible in the outpatient setting and allows a comfortable, ergonomic position for the surgeon. Vaginoscopy or no-touch technique avoids the use of a speculum or tenaculum and results in minimal pain during the outpatient procedure.
Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.