Official reprint from UpToDate®
www.uptodate.com ©2017 UpToDate, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Pelvic examination under anesthesia

William J Mann, Jr, MD
Section Editor
Howard T Sharp, MD
Deputy Editor
Kristen Eckler, MD, FACOG


Pelvic examination under anesthesia is performed when a patient cannot be adequately examined without sedation or general anesthesia (eg, for reasons of physical or psychological discomfort) or to provide information that will help guide a subsequent surgical procedure. In addition, clinical staging of cervical or vaginal cancer is performed under anesthesia.

Pelvic examination under anesthesia in adults is reviewed here. General principles of the gynecologic history and physical examination in adults and children, and of cervical cancer staging, are discussed separately. (See "The gynecologic history and pelvic examination" and "Gynecologic examination of the newborn and child" and "Invasive cervical cancer: Staging and evaluation of lymph nodes" and "Vaginal cancer".)


Informed consent is required prior to performing a pelvic examination under anesthesia (EUA) [1-3]. The surgeon should discuss with the patient the purpose of the EUA, as well as the personnel who will perform the examination (eg, surgeon, assisting surgeon, residents, medical students) [4]. This discussion should be documented on the surgical consent form and in the medical record. This applies whether the EUA is used solely or in part for the purpose of teaching medical students or trainees.

In addition, the surgeon should discuss the possibility that a finding on examination may change the surgical approach or the extent of the procedure. The patient should be counseled about potential changes and consent or decline preoperatively to changes in the procedure.


Determination of the axis and length of the cervix and the size, position, mobility, and descent of the uterus just prior to a procedure provides the following benefits:

To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:

Subscribers log in here

Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 02, 2017.
The content on the UpToDate website is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. The use of this website is governed by the UpToDate Terms of Use ©2017 UpToDate, Inc.