Topical anesthesia for office hysteroscopy. A prospective, randomized study comparing two modalities

F Zullo, M Pellicano, C M Stigliano, C Di Carlo, A Fabrizio, C Nappi
Journal of Reproductive Medicine 1999, 44 (10): 865-9

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of two modalities of local anesthesia for diagnostic hysteroscopy in different steps of the procedure in terms of pain control and time required for the examination.

STUDY DESIGN: One hundred eighty women undergoing diagnostic hysteroscopy were included in the study and randomly allocated to one of two groups. Group A (n = 88), treated with prilocaine plus lidocaine cream, and group B (n = 92), treated with lidocaine spray, were compared with group C, a control group (n = 165), including all the hysteroscopies performed without anesthesia in the same period. Duration of the hysteroscopic examination was recorded; intensity of pain induced by the procedure and shoulder pain 10 minutes after the end of the examination were recorded for all patients on the basis of a four-point pain scale.

RESULTS: Duration of the procedure required was two minutes in a significantly lower percentage of patients in group A as compared to groups B and C. Furthermore, in group A we found a significant reduction in pain at placement of the tenaculum in comparison to groups B and C. In groups A and B, no patient experienced a "very painful" grade of pain versus 4.8% in group C. The vasovagal reaction rate was also significantly lower in both treated groups in comparison to the control group. Furthermore, the intensity of shoulder pain was significantly lower in the group receiving prilocaine plus lidocaine cream as compared to the other two groups.

CONCLUSION: Local anesthesia has a beneficial effect, at least in those hysteroscopies presumed to be, for whatever reasons, more cumbersome to perform. Prilocaine plus lidocaine cream was more effective than lidocaine spray in decreasing pain at placement of the tenaculum and shoulder pain after the procedure.

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