Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


Systematic use of transvaginal hydrolaparoscopy as a minimally invasive procedure in the exploration of the infertile patient: results and reflections

S. Gordts 1, Sy. Gordts 1,2, P. Puttemans 2, I. Segaert 1,2, M. Valkenburg 1,2, R. Campo 1

Life Expert Centre, Schipvaartstraat 4, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; 2 Heilig Hart Hospital, Naamsestraat 104, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.


Transvaginal hydrolaparoscopy, diagnosis, ovarian drilling, endometriosis

Published online: Jun 28 2021


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the added value of transvaginal hydrolaparoscopy (THL) in the investigation of the infertile patient.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study, based on records from 01/09/2006 to 30/12/2019 was undertaken in a tertiary care infertility centre. THL was performed in 2288 patients. These were patients who were referred for endoscopic exploration of the female pelvis as part of their infertility investigation. In 374 patients with clomiphene-resistant polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), ovarian capsule drilling was also performed. The outcome objectives of this study included the evaluation of the added diagnostic value of THL as well as the feasibility and safety of the visual inspection of the female pelvis using this technique.

Results: Of the 2288 procedures failed access to the pouch of Douglas occurred in in 23 patients (1%). The complication rate was 0.74%, due to bowel perforations (n= 13) and bleeding (n= 4) requiring laparoscopy. All bowel perforations were treated conservatively, with 6 days of antibiotics, and no further complications occurred. Findings were normal in 49.8% of patients. Endometriosis was diagnosed in 366 patients (15.9%); adhesions were present in 144 patients.

Conclusions: THL is a minimally invasive procedure, with a low complication and failure rate, providing an accurate visual exploration of the female pelvis in a one-day hospital setting. When indicated, minimally invasive surgery is possible in the early stages of endometriosis and for ovarian capsule drilling in patients with clomiphene-resistant PCOS.