Hysteroscopic procedures with dilation and curettage (D&C)
What is a hysteroscope?
It is a type of telescope designed to view the inside of the uterus. It is attached to a camera.
What is a hysteroscopic polypectomy?
It is a surgical procedure to take out the uterine polyps. It is followed by a D&C.
What are polyps?
Polyps are the overgrowth of tissue. They are very common, especially as you age. Most people do not even know they have polyps.
- People in menopausal have more risk of getting uterine polyps.
- Most polyps are benign. Some are pre-cancer and some are cancerous.
- Some polyps can grow large. This can put pressure on organs.
- Some polyps can cause abnormal bleeding.
What is a hysteroscopic myomectomy?
It is a surgical procedure to take out uterine fibroids. The fibroid (myoma) is found with a hysteroscope. Then, it is taken out with the scope.
What are uterine fibroids (myomas)?
Fibroids are usually tumors that are made of smooth muscle in the uterus.
- Most fibroids are benign. It is very rare for a fibroid to be cancerous.
- Fibroids can cause problems if they are large:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Bleeding between periods
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Pain with sex
Not all fibroids need treatment. Most do not cause any symptoms and do not need to be treated.
What is a D&C?
It is the slight widening of the opening of the uterus (cervix). We will scrape some or all of the lining of the uterus when not pregnant.
This gives the doctor a sample of the lining to help diagnose:
- Hormone imbalances
- Fibroid tumors
We start by dilating the cervix. We do it enough to put an instrument/camera in the uterine cavity. The hysteroscopy is done before the D & C. It often takes less than 30 minutes to do both procedures.
After the hysteroscopic D & C
Most women have few effects from a hysteroscopic D & C. You may have some lower abdominal cramping and lower back pain at first. These often lessen quickly. You may notice some cramps on and off for a few days. You can take medicines as prescribed for this.
Most women have some spotting or light bleeding for a few days. It should not be heavier than your normal period. A few women have no bleeding at all after. Your bleeding should slowly become lighter in color, and then stop.
If you are still having periods, your next period should start at its normal time or within 4 weeks. Your next period may be lighter or heavier than normal.
- Put anything into your vagina until your doctor says it is okay. This can be up to 2 weeks. This includes:
- Having sex
- Using a douche
- Using a tampon
- Exercise in a strenuous way. Examples are running, aerobics, or swimming. Do not do these for at least 2 or 3 days.
This is helps you have a safe and uncomplicated healing. It will lower your risk of infection or heavy bleeding.
- Take a bath or shower once each day.
- Change your sanitary pad 3 to 4 times each day while you have any vaginal discharge.
- Take it easy for 2 to 3 days after your procedure.
- This is a minor procedure but it has been stressful for your body. You need to rest to allow proper healing.
- The day of your procedure, you need to go home and rest quietly. Plan on sleeping, reading, watching TV or doing handwork for the rest of the day.
- The next day, we suggest light exercise such as walking, easy stretching, or light housework.