Dilation and curettage is a minor surgical method in which the cervix is dilated and a special device is used to scrape the uterine lining. You should know what to expect ahead of, during, and after a D&C, to help you ease your worries and let the process go more smoothly. Here is some important information regarding D&C:
Why do you need a D&C procedure?
You may require a D&C for one of the numerous reasons. The procedure is performed to:
Eliminate tissue in the uterus- During and after a miscarriage or abortion or to take away small pieces of placenta after delivery. This helps avoid infection or heavy bleeding.
To diagnose or treat AUB or Abnormal Uterine Bleeding- A D&C may help in the diagnosis or treatment of growths like fibroids, polyps, hormonal imbalances, or uterine cancer. A sample of uterine tissue is observed under a microscope to verify for abnormal cells.
What to Expect During a D&C
You may have a D&C in your doctor’s office, in a hospital or in an outpatient clinic. It generally takes only 10 to 15 minutes to complete the procedure, but you may need to stay there for up to five hours. Before a D&C, you will have to give your complete history and sign a consent form. Tell your doctor about any allergies you have or any history of bleeding disorders or if you take any blood-thinning medications. You will get anesthesia that your doctor will discuss with you. The type of anesthesia depends on the procedure you need.
- If you get general anesthesia, you will not be awake throughout the procedure.
- If you have spinal or epidural anesthesia, you will not have sensation from the waist down.
- If you take local anesthesia, you will be awake during the process and the area around your cervix will be numbed.
During the procedure, you will lie on your back and place your legs in stirrups like in a pelvic exam. Then your doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina and will hold the cervix in place with a clamp. Though the D&C Doesn’t involve stitches or cuts, the doctor cleanses the cervix with an antiseptic solution.