What is a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is an endoscopic procedure that is used to diagnose and treat uterine problems. It involves the usage of a hysteroscope – a thin, telescopic device equipped with a light and powerful mini-camera – that will allow Dr G to view the interior of your uterus on a large screen. This clarity will help him diagnose your condition accurately and/or correct the problem with precision (operative hysteroscopy).
What can a hysteroscopy accomplish?
A hysteroscopy is most frequently used to investigate cases of unexplained and abnormal uterine bleeding. The procedure is also used to determine the cause of adhesions (internal scar tissue), repeated miscarriages, fibroid tumours, fertility problems, and polyps. In addition to this, it can be used to locate and remove IUDs (intrauterine devices) that have been displaced, position fallopian implants as a permanent method of sterilisation, and can even serve as an alternative to open abdominal surgery.
When should you schedule a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy should be performed when you are not menstruating. For best results, you should schedule this procedure soon after your period, since this will allow Dr G to examine your uterus with greater clarity.
Dr G will discuss your medical history and current state of health in detail. The medication you’re on, allergies you have, and illnesses you suffer or are recovering from, can all have an important bearing on the procedure.
How is a hysteroscopy performed?
A hysteroscopy is a relatively simple surgical procedure and is done under either local or general anaesthesia. The type of anaesthesia used will depend upon your individual case and its requirements.
Dr G will begin by dilating your cervix (the neck-like opening into your uterus). This is accomplished through specialised dilatory equipment or medication. A lubricated device known as a speculum will be inserted into the vagina to spread its walls apart gently. The hysteroscope will then be passed through the speculum and will proceed slowly into your uterus. The hysteroscope will distend your uterus with the help of a gas or liquid – this will give Dr G better visual clarity and enable him to examine the uterine lining and fallopian openings in detail. With operative hysteroscopy surgery, the necessary instruments will be passed through the hysteroscope to resect fibroid, polyp and intra uterine scar tissues.
What risks does a hysteroscopy carry?
A hysteroscopy is usually quite safe. Rarely does it result in cervical or uterine damage that causes heavy bleeding after hysteroscopy. Other complications associated with a hysteroscopy include infections or adverse reactions to the anaesthesia used.
What happens after the hysteroscopy?
The surgery is usually carried out under a short general anaesthesia. Therefore you should be able to return home on the very same day, though driving is prohibited on the day.
It isn’t unusual for women to experience mild cramping and vaginal bleeding during the days following the procedure. You might have to abstain from sexual intercourse cr soon after. Talk to Dr G about your concerns – he’ll be able to tell you what precautions you need to take after your hysteroscopy procedure and for how long.