Use anesthesia for in-office GYN procedures
The recent article by Dr. Kaunitz on the use of self-administered lidocaine gel prior to intrauterine device (IUD) placement was excellent. Having been known as the “lidocaine queen” in the Department of ObGyn at the Mayo Clinic, I feel strongly that gynecologic office procedures should always involve some form of anesthesia, whether with topical lidocaine, intracervical lidocaine, or paracervical block. Such anesthesia often makes the procedure a “nonevent” for the patient. While Dr. Kaunitz describes the use of a fine-toothed tenaculum, I have found that after administration of lidocaine gel, an Allis clamp applied superficially to the cervix provides sufficient traction, is often not detected by the patient, and does not leave any holes. It is unusual for it to slip off.
It is important to teach residents that it is not necessary for women to “tolerate” pain to have good health. I use the above techniques for endometrial biopsy and cervical biopsy as well—there is never a reason for a woman’s biopsy to be done without anesthesia.
Ingrid Carlson, MD
Ponte Vedra, Florida
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