From the time of Commander Pantaleoni in 1869 when he hysteroscopically used silver nitrate to cauterize a uterine haemorrhagic polyp, to the invention of the Hopkins rod-lens system and light source, hysteroscopy has seen a quantum leap in its practice and widespread availability. Miniature telescopes are now readily available ensuring that hysteroscopy can safely be performed in an office setting without anaesthesia, thanks to the pioneering effort of Professor Stefano Bettocchi. The various recent devices for operative hysteroscopy have also made for a seamless practice.
Africa is definitely not left behind in this great match towards placing hysteroscopy on a pedestal. I remember back in 2010 when I set up a private practice which I chose to call Gynescope (Gynaecology and endoscopy) primarily because of my passion for minimal access surgery, especially hysteroscopy. It can even be argued that the bulk of the patients requiring hysteroscopy services reside in Africa. A cursory look at some of the indications might attest to this. One of the commonest indications for hysteroscopy is uterine synechiae. Most African countries have restrictive abortion laws, leading to an unacceptably high unsafe abortion rates and its sequelae which includes synechiae. Uterine fibroids, another common indication for hysteroscopy, is known to be commoner among the black population. For these reasons, the average gynaecologist in Africa is very much interested in developing his/her hysteroscopy skills. This fact will surely be manifested during the forthcoming Global Congress on Hysteroscopy, where there will be a large African, albeit, Nigerian contingent.