Hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look inside your uterus in order to diagnose and treat causes of abnormal bleeding. The procedure is done using a hysteroscope, a thin, lighted tube that is inserted into the vagina to examine the cervix and inside of the uterus. It also involves the insertion of an endoscope to produce images of the inside of the uterus which can be used for the future reference. Hysteroscopy can be either diagnostic or operative.
Why it is done ?
- To find the cause of severe cramping or abnormal bleeding.
- To diagnose causes of infertility or repeated miscarriages.
- To evaluate uterine adhesions (Asherman’s syndrome), small fibroids or polyps.
- Check for endometrial cancer.
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.
During the procedure
A hysteroscopy may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your doctor’s practices. Generally, the procedure follows as:
- A patient is asked to remove clothing and will be given a gown to wear.
- A patient is asked to empty the bladder prior to the procedure.
- The vaginal area will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
- The hysteroscope is inserted into the vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus.
- The wall of the uterus is examined for abnormalities. Photographs or video documentation may be made. Biopsy specimens may be taken.
- If a procedure, such as fibroid removal, is to be performed, instruments will be inserted through the hysteroscope.
- The hysteroscope will be removed after the procedure is complete.
Hysteroscopy is a very safe procedure, with a low risk of complications. With advancements in medical technology, the complication rate has been decreasing over the years. This has been demonstrated by improvements in equipment and experience of the surgeons.