Dilation and Curettage or D&C is the procedure that is used to remove tissues from the inside of the uterus. D&C procedure is used to diagnose and treat the abnormality or problem prevailing inside the uterus that is causing heavy bleeding. This procedure involves the dilation of the uterine cervix in order to further remove the inner lining tissues of the uterus by scraping or suction. This procedure is completely safe to be performed on any female who requires it. D&C is a minor surgery and can be carried out at a licensed clinic or hospital. D&C is generally a diagnostic procedure but in certain cases, it can be therapeutic as well.
How is it performed?
D&C is a short and minor procedure and involves no major cuts, incisions or stitches. After getting to the hospital, the female is firstly given some privacy to change into the hospital gown and cap. After that, before starting with the procedure, the intimate area, including the skin around the vagina and cervix of the female is cleaned properly with the use of an antiseptic. Shaving the pubic hair is not necessarily required.
Here, dilation refers to stretching the opening part of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus, using special instruments. This is done to make the cervix wider to carry out the procedure. After the cervix has been dilated, the hysteroscopy is performed. A thin and light hysteroscope is inserted from the vaginal opening. A fluid is then inserted to hold open the walls of the uterus so that the inside of the uterus can be examined properly with the hysteroscope.
The inner side of the uterus is then examined. Then begins the second part of D&C. another instrument called the Curettage is then inserted from the vagina to loosen and remove the inner lining of the uterus. It is removed using a scraping instrument called Curette or by a suction tube. Scraping of the inner lining of the uterus has no harm to the female or the reproductive system. The new inner lining of the uterus regrows during the next menstrual cycle of the female.
When is D&C required?
Dilation and curation are required in case a female has abnormal uterine bleeding. This procedure is performed to diagnose or treat the abnormality in the uterus. The D&C can be performed for two purposes:
A type of D&C known as Endometrial D&C is performed to diagnose the condition of the female in cases mentioned below:
- If the female has abnormal uterine bleeding
- If the female has bleeding after her menopause
- If the doctor or gynecologist has seen some abnormal cells in the inner lining of the uterus during examination tests for Cervical Cancer.
In order to perform the test, the doctor firstly collects tissue samples from the inner lining of the uterus. The tissue samples are then sent to the lab for testing the below conditions:
- Uterine Polyps
- Uterine Cancer
- Endometrial Hyperplasia
During therapeutic D&C, the doctor has to remove the contents from the inner lining of the uterus. The doctor may also need to clear out the tissues that have remained in the uterus after an abortion, miscarriage in order to prevent heavy bleeding. D&C may also be performed to remove a molar pregnancy. In this case, a tumor is formed in the uterus instead of a normal pregnancy. It needs to be removed with the D&C procedure. The doctor also performs D&C to clear the placenta that may have remained in the uterus and is causing heavy bleeding. The removal of cervical or uterine polyps ( generally non-cancerous ones ) can also require the D&C procedure.
For certain medical cases, the doctor may require to perform D&C along with a Hysteroscopy. In the procedure of hysteroscopy, the doctor inserts a thin, fine hysteroscope with a camera on its head inside the vagina, to the uterus. The doctor can then see and examine the inner lining of the uterus on the screen. This is performed to look for any abnormalities or polyps inside the uterus.
Risks of getting a D&C
Although D&C is a completely safe procedure, it may have certain risks in some cases. The risks and complications are rarely observed in the case of D&C. but if they happen, the doctor is prepared to provide a solution to them:
- Damage to the Cervix
- Scarred Tissues on the inner wall of the uterus
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
You can get safe and convenient treatments to all your troubles at Pristyn Care. Our team of gynecologists is dedicated to treating their patients in the best way!
Also Read: Hysteroscopy for Abnormal Bleeding