Hysteroscopy is a gynecological procedure that may be indicated for abnormal uterine bleeding, diagnosis and management of infertility, contraception, or sterilization. Surgeons use distending media during hysteroscopy to view the uterine cavity. Media options include carbon dioxide gas and both electrolytic and nonelectrolytic fluids. All distending media is absorbed by the patient’s body, but the manner in which each media is absorbed is unique to its chemical composition. Understanding the properties of each distending medium and the risks involved with its use is critical to safe perioperative nursing care for patients undergoing hysteroscopy. This article provides perioperative nurses with a review of uterine anatomy and evidence-based information on the types of distending media used during hysteroscopy and the corresponding perioperative nursing implications.
Key words: hysteroscopy, distending media, fluid overload, Hyskon, hyponatremia.