Standard laparoscopy is frequently postponed and omitted in the exploration of the infertile patient. It is a rather invasive and not innocuous procedure. However, direct endoscopic visualization of the pelvis and the uterine cavity is still considered the gold standard and it is preferred over indirect imaging techniques.
The transvaginal single access approach offers the opportunity to explore the uterus and tubo-ovarian organs in an ambulatory “one-stop fertility” clinical setting. Only direct visualization of the pelvis allows for an accurate diagnosis of minimal endometriosis, tubo-ovarian adhesions, sequellae of PID. When indicated, the procedure was completed with a patency test, salpingoscopy and hysteroscopy. In patients without obvious pelvic pathology, transvafinal endoscopy (TVE) can be used as a first-line diagnostic procedure without postponing an early diagnosis and accurate therapy.
Because of the easy access to the fossa ovarica, the preferred implantation site of endometriosis, limited surgical procedures such as adhesiolysis become possible, the same goes for the treatment of ovarian endometrioma, and ovarian drilling. It allows for an accurate and meticulous dissection of peri-ovarian adhesions and hydroflotation is very helpful in the identification of the exact cleavage plane between the different organs. Small scissors, forceps, and a bipolar coagulation probe are used. A meticulous hemostasis is mandatory, as bleeding will disturb visualization in a watery medium. In case of endometriosis, after the endometrioma has been opened, the chocolate fluid is removed and the inner site of the cyst is superfluously rinsed. The bipolar probe is used to fulgurate the inner endometrial layering.
To drill the ovarian capsule, we use a 5 French bipolar needle (Karl Storz, Tuttlingen, Germany). On each ovary, 5 to 10 punctures were created preferentially at the antero-lateral side of the ovary. The 5 French bipolar needle is gently pushed against the ovarian surface and current is activated with an energy output of 70 Watts. The procedure was carried out in the ambulatory patient in a one-day clinical setting.