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Hysteroscopy is the evaluation of the inside of the uterus using an endoscope. This procedure allows for the staff at Saginaw Valley Equine Clinic to evaluate the contents of the uterus, the uterine lining, the oviductal openings, the cervix and the vagina. A fiberoptic endoscopic camera is passed into the uterus using aseptic technique.

The uterus is then inflated with air and the endoscope is passed up each uterine horn for evaluation. As the endoscope is passed into each horn, the veterinarians at SVEC evaluate for signs of ulceration, infection, foreign bodies, cysts, or other problems. The oviductal opening at the tip of each horn is assessed for normal location, swelling, and any plugs. Cervical problems, both internal and external, can be evaluated with the endoscope as it provides a direct, real-time image of the entire functional length.

The visualization allows for targeted sample taking and treatments included hysteroscopically guided uterine biopsies. SVEC uses hysteroscopy for endometrial cyst ablation. Endometrial cysts are “blisters” that develop in the uterus due to age and uterine muscle degeneration. As horses age, they are less able to move fluid in and out of the uterus, and it can accumulate in cysts. These cysts can cause problems by decreasing the amount of effective uterine surface area to support a pregnancy and by physically blocking a pregnancy’s development in the uterus.

Endometrial cysts become a problem when they are numerous and/or they obstruct an important region of the uterus. At SVEC, we are able to visualize the cysts hysteroscopically and then use a laser to deflate the cyst and remove the lining. The lining must be removed as well so that the hole in the cyst does not seal over and refill. After endometrial cyst ablation, mares can most commonly be bred in the next cycle. This technique is especially helpful for mares that have a history of recurrently losing pregnancies early in gestation.

 Benefits include:

  • Laser cyst removal
  • Rapid recovery for next breeding cycle

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