E F Nigel Holland
Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician
Menu Patient Leaflet 2 - Hysteroscopy D & C -
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What is a D & C, Hysteroscopy?

Dilatation and curettage and hysteroscopy is an operation to help find out what is causing your problem.
The operation takes approximately 10-15 minutes and is done under a general anaesthetic, (you will be asleep). A small probe is used to gently open the cervix (neck of womb). Small samples are then scraped from the lining of the womb and sent to the laboratory to be examined.

A hysteroscopy also helps to find out what is causing your problem and is done at the same time as the D and C. A fine telescope (hysteroscope) is passed through the vagina and into the womb allowing me to see the inside of the womb and, if necessary, take a small biopsy (a sample of tissue) from the lining of the womb.

Why do you need a D&C, Hysteroscopy?

You may be having one or more of the following symptoms:-

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Heavy painful periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Bleeding after you have had your menopause
  • Irregular bleeding when taking HRT

What are the benefits of a D&C, Hysteroscopy?

  • Can be done as a day case
  • Recovery time is very short
  • A mirena coil can very easily be inserted at the same time for the treatment of heavy periods for example (see separate leaflet).

What are the risks of a D&C, Hysteroscopy?

Risks associated with a D and C are rare but occasionally

  • A small hole can be made in the womb (perforation)
  • Very rarely the organs close to the womb can be damaged (bladder, bowel, blood vessels)
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Risks associated with a general anaesthetic.

A general anaesthetic also carries a very small risk. These risks are greater for women who smoke or are overweight. It is advisable, if either of these apply, to reduce or stop smoking and try to lose some weight. In addition there may be special risks for women with certain medical problems such as heart or lung disease.

You will be able to discuss any concerns you may have with your anaesthetist before your operation.

What happens after the proceedure?

You should be able to go home when you have had something to eat and drink and have passed urine. This is usually about 2 hours after your return to the ward.
I will discuss your operation with you and any further treatment or outpatient appointments will be arranged.
You will probably have some bleeding from your vagina which can last up to 7 - 10 days. This should not be as much as a normal period and there should be no clots. Use sanitary towels and not tampons until the bleeding has stopped.
Do not have sexual intercourse until after your next period.
You may have some slight pain which should be relieved with mild painkillers. If this is severe of you are bleeding heavily you will need to seek attention.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask them.

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