How to prepare for a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy cannot be carried out in pregnant women. As such, the woman needs to undergo a pregnancy test a week before a hysteroscopy. If the hysteroscopy is done to remove fibroids from the body, she will be recommended to be on medications for some time until the size of the fibroids reduces.
The gynaecologist will give sedative medications to the woman to help her relax before the surgery. The surgery may be carried out with either general or local anesthesia, or the woman may even choose to stay awake.
In some women, the gynecologist may require to insert medications into the cervix to dilate and open it. It is done to facilitate the process more efficiently.
What to expect after hysteroscopy?
Post-hysteroscopy, the woman will have to wait in the hospital after the effects of anesthesia or sedation medication completely wear off. Typically, a hysteroscopy is a daycare procedure and the patient can return home the same day. After a few hours, the patient may experience mild cramping and spotting for the next few days. The woman should refrain from indulging in sexual intercourse for at least a week after the surgery. Apart from this, there are no major side effects or complications of hysteroscopy and the woman can resume daily routine within 2-3 days.
What happens in Dilation and Curettage (D&C) with hysteroscopy?
Dilation and Curettage (D&C) with hysteroscopy is performed to diagnose and treat abnormalities related to the uterus such as heavy bleeding and bleeding between periods. D&C is also performed to remove fibroids or polyps from the uterus and to check if there is a presence of any cancerous tissues anywhere in the uterus.
Before the surgery, the woman will be advised to stop consuming drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin and recommend you necessary medications. You should stop eating or drinking anything at least 6-12 hours before the surgery.
During the D&C, the gynecologist will first dilate the cervix. The gynecologist will then open the cervix and insert a hysteroscope into the uterus. The entire process is completed within 30 minutes.
After the surgery, the woman may experience menstrual cramps like pain for a few days after the surgery. The cramps may last from a few hours to a day or two. Some women experience light spotting after the surgery. The woman should not drive for at least the next 24 hours and should not lift any heavyweights for the next few days.
Are there any risks of hysteroscopy?
If not performed by experienced and trained doctors, hysteroscopy can lead to the following risks and complications.
- Uterus perforation - When a surgical instrument enters the uterus, there is a chance of the uterus getting perforated. Some uterus perforations heal on their own whereas many times perforation requires surgical treatment.
- Infection - It is possible for D&C to cause infection, but the chances are very low.
- Scar tissue - D&C may sometimes result in the formation of scar tissue. This happens mostly if the D&C is performed after a miscarriage.