Hysteroscopy is a procedure where the physician inspects the vagina and the neck of the uterus with an instrument called Hysteroscope. Hysteroscopy is used as both a diagnosis and treatment procedure. Small fibroids and polyps can also be removed, avoiding a complicated open surgery. This procedure can also be used to remove IUD’s that get embedded in the wall of the uterus.
The main reason why a hysteroscopy is done is to understand the cause for the any of the following:
The doctor will be able to take samples of tissue from specific areas and check for the presence of any fibroids, polyps or structural abnormalities.
A general or a regional anesthetic will first be administered by the doctor. The cervix is then dialated slightly and the hysteroscope is inserted through the cervix to reveal the inside of the uterus. Usually the walls of the uterus touch each other. In order to get a better view, the doctor may inflate the uterus with the help of carbon dioxide gas or fluid.
The procedure usually takes around 30 minutes. The patient may be required to have a short stay at the hospital depending on her general health.
In order to remove polyps or fibroids from the uterus, other surgical instruments may be inserted into the hysteroscope. If the patient had been complaining of severe excessive bleeding, a sample tissue may be removed from the uterus wall to do a biopsy.
Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are sometimes done simultaneously to maximize their diagnostic capabilities.
Diagnostic Hysteroscopy is usually an easy process and rarely has any complications associated with it. But as is with any procedure there can be risks involved. Some are listed below:
Perforation of the uterus, bowel or bladder
Increased fluid absorption from the uterus into the bloodstream
Risks associated with anesthesia
There will be slight bleeding for a day or two after the procedure. This can be accompanied with mild cramping or pain, which usually diminishes after about 8 hours. Discomfort from using Carbon Dioxide during the procedure usually subsides within 24 hours.
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