Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


Diagnosis and treatment of early-stage endometriosis by Transvaginal Hydro laparoscopy

S. Gordts1,2, P. Puttemans1,3, I. Segaert2,3, M. Valkenburg2,3, V. Schutyser3, R. Campo1,2, Sy. Gordts1,2,3

1 Leuven Institute for Fertility & Embryology, Schipvaartstraat 4, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
2 Life Expert Centre, Schipvaartstraat 4, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
3 Hospital Heilig Hart, Naamsestraat 105, 3000 Leuven, Belgium


Infertility, endometriosis, transvaginal hydro laparoscopy, diagnosis, treatment, pregnancy

Published online: Mar 30 2023


Background: Transvaginal Hydro Laparoscopy (THL) is known as a minimal invasive procedure allowing endoscopic exploration of the female pelvis.

Objective: To evaluate the possibilities of the THL as a tool for early diagnosis and treatment of minimal endometriosis.

Materials and methods: A retrospective study of a consecutive series of 2288 patients referred for fertility problems to a tertiary centre for reproductive medicine was undertaken. Mean duration of infertility was 23.6 months (SD ±11-48), mean age of patients was 31.25 (SD± 3.8y). With normal findings at clinical and ultrasound examination patients underwent, as part of their fertility exploration, a THL.

Main outcome measures: Evaluation of feasibility, identified pathology and pregnancy rate.

Results: Endometriosis was diagnosed in 365 patients (16%); the localisation was higher on the left side (n=237) than on the right side (n=169). Small endometriomas, with diameters between 0.5 and 2 cm, were present in 24.3% (right side in 31, left side 48 and bilateral 10). These early lesions were characterised by the presence of active endometrial like cells and a pronounced neo-angiogenesis. Destruction of the endometriotic lesions with bipolar energy resulted in an in vivo pregnancy rate (spontaneous/IUI) of 43.8% (CPR after 8 months: spontaneous 57.7%; IUI/AID 29.7%).

Conclusion: THL allowed in a minimally invasive way an accurate diagnosis of the early stages of peritoneal and ovarian endometriosis with the possibility of offering treatment with minimal damage.

What is new? This is the largest series reporting the usefulness of THL for the diagnosis and treatment of peritoneal and ovarian endometriosis in patients without obviously visible preoperative pelvic pathology.