What is a Resectoscope?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 02 February 2020
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A resectoscope is a surgical instrument used to remove tissue from the uterus, prostate, bladder, or urethra. It is a type of endoscope, an instrument that combines a camera and instrumentation so doctors can view a surgical site and perform surgery through the same incision. Using an endoscope reduces surgical trauma, decreases healing time, and provides minimally invasive treatment options for the patient. Endoscopic surgery, also known as minimally invasive surgery, is a very popular option in operating rooms all over the world.

The resectoscope includes a wide angle microscope that allows for complete visualization of the surgical site. Attached is a wire loop that is electrically activated. When the surgeon turns the loop on, it can be dragged over the tissue in question to remove it for the purpose of removing a sample or performing an ablation. The loop cauterizes the site as it moves, limiting bleeding and eliminating the need for stitches.

For procedures involving the urethra, bladder, and prostate, the instrument can be introduced through the urethra. Doctors who need to access the uterus may enter through the vagina or make an incision on the abdomen to access the uterus, depending on the patient and the preference of the surgeon. The instrument is very small, and a large opening is not required.


Resectoscopes are used in surgical procedures performed for the purpose of taking tissue for biopsy, removing growths such as fibroids, or ablating diseased and damaged tissue. Gynecological surgeons and urologists are the most likely to candidates to use this surgical equipment. They receive special training to learn how to handle the resectoscope safely and efficiently with their patients.

Patients are usually anesthetized during procedures that require a resectoscope. When the doctor has finished, the incision used to introduce the tool can be closed, if an incision needed to be made, and the patient can be moved into recovery. Patients usually experience some pain, bleeding, and soreness as the body recovers from the procedure. Using a resectoscope is far less invasive, however, than older surgical treatments for conditions like fibroids.

When a surgeon recommends a procedure, it is a good idea for patients to ask why the procedure is being recommended, if there are any alternatives available, and what will happen during the surgery. It is also strongly recommended to ask about aftercare and recovery times so that patients know what to expect after surgery.


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