Hysteroscopy

What is hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is a procedure used to diagnose problems of the uterus (womb). Hysteroscopy is done using a hysteroscope, a thin, lighted tube that is inserted into the vagina to examine the cervix and inside of the uterus.

What is hysteroscopy used for?

A hysteroscopy may be used to find the cause of various problems such as:

  • Heavy or irregular bleeding that has not got better with medication.
  • Bleeding in-between periods.
  • Bleeding after your menopause.
  • Irregular bleeding whilst you are taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
  • If you are thinking about having an operation to make your periods less heavy (endometrial ablation).
  • Unexplained miscarriages.

As well as being used to investigate the cause of various problems, it can also be used to:

  • Remove polyps - small lumps of tissue growing on the lining of the uterus.
  • Remove uterine septum (a dividing wall or membrane inside the womb).
  • Remove adhesions (areas where the walls of the uterus are sticking together).
  • Remove fibroids (noncancerous growths of the muscle of the womb).
  • Locate a 'lost' or stuck contraceptive device (coil).

How safe is hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is a relatively safe procedure. However, as with any type of surgery, complications are possible. With hysteroscopy, complications occur in less than 1 percent of cases and can include:

  • Risks associated with anaesthesia
  • Infection
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Puncture of the cervix, uterus, bowel or bladder
  • Intrauterine scarring

 

When should the procedure be performed?

Hysteroscopy is best scheduled for the first week after your menstrual period or when you are not bleeding. This timing will provide the best view of the inside of your uterus.

What can I expect after the procedure?

If regional or general anesthesia is used during your procedure, you may have to be observed for several hours before going home. After the procedure, you may have some cramping or slight vaginal bleeding for one to two days. In addition, you may feel shoulder pain if gas was used during your hysteroscopy. It is also not unusual to feel somewhat faint or sick. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor:

  • Fever
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge

Will I have to stay in the hospital overnight?

Hysteroscopy is considered minor surgery and usually does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. However, in certain circumstances, such as if your doctor is concerned about your reaction to anesthesia, an overnight stay may be required.

Who is a candidate for this procedure?

Although there are many benefits associated with hysteroscopy, it may not be appropriate for some patients. A doctor who specializes in this procedure will consult with your primary care physician to determine whether it is appropriate for you.

What are the benefits of hysteroscopy?

Compared with other, more invasive procedures, hysteroscopy may provide the following advantages:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less pain medication needed after surgery
  • Avoidance of hysterectomy
  • Possible avoidance of "open" abdominal surgery

How safe is hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is a relatively safe procedure. However, as with any type of surgery, complications are possible. With hysteroscopy, complications occur in less than 1 percent of cases and can include:

  • Risks associated with anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Injury to the cervix, uterus, bowel or bladder
  • Intrauterine scarring

When should the procedure be performed?

Hysteroscopy is best scheduled for the first week after your menstrual period or when you are not bleeding. This timing will provide the best view of the inside of your uterus.

What can I expect after the procedure?

If regional or general anesthesia is used during your procedure, you may have to be observed for several hours before going home. After the procedure, you may have some cramping or slight vaginal bleeding for one to two days. It is also not unusual to feel somewhat faint or sick. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor:

  • Fever
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge

Will I have to stay in the hospital overnight?

Hysteroscopy is considered minor surgery and usually does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. However, in certain circumstances, such as if your doctor is concerned about your reaction to anesthesia, an overnight stay may be required.

 
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