In 2002, we published a book on laparoscopy entitled A Practical Manual of Laparoscopy: A Clinical Cookbook. At first, the name of the book was criticized greatly; however, its merits became apparent and subsequently it was widely accepted as an easy to read and understandable text—the title became a mark of edification. We were then encouraged to edit a book on hysteroscopy along the same vein that could be used by physicians in training, but would also serve as a handy reference for practicing physicians. This book continues in the style of the laparoscopy text, using the outstanding digital images created by Branko Modrakovic based on photos and drawings of the individual chapter authors. Each chapter has been written by experts in hysteroscopy who are renowned for not only their knowledge, but also their ability to teach. Hysteroscopy, although known since 1869 and used since 1925, has gained general acceptance by gynecologists relatively slowly. It wasn’t until 1970 when 32% Dextran was used to distend the uterine cavity, that gynecologists slowly began to utilize hysteroscopy, not only for diagnosis, but also for operative procedures. Many other techniques have subsequently been developed since 1981, when Goldrath and colleagues published data on the use of hysteroscopy to ablate the endometrium with a laser. This opened the gates for the everyday gynecologist to offer alternatives to hysterectomy in the treatment of severe menometrorrhagia.
The hysteroscope also permits the outpatient treatment of many other pathologies including sub-mucosal leiomyomas, endometrial polyps, uterine synechia and uterine septa. Recently, hysteroscopic sterilization techniques have been developed and widely accepted as office based procedures. This book has chapters that address all of the present hysteroscopic therapies and will provide an in depth discussion of the current knowledge of hysteroscopy and global ablation techniques. The reader will note that many topics may appear to be repetitious as the individual chapter authors were allowed to express their views of procedures. There are also some differences in opinion as to techniques. We believe that allowing the freedom to disagree, even in the same book, is in itself, an educational benefit and will expose the reader to a more balanced view of current knowledge. We, the editors, also may not be in complete agreement with some of the views expressed by the chapter authors; however our role is to educate not censor.