March 17 20:13 2019 Print This Article

Internal examination of the uterus using a viewing instrument called a hysteroscope. Hysteroscopy is used to detect disorders of the uterine cavity and of the endometrium (lining of the uterus), to obtain BIOPSY samples, to remove small polyps, and to perform endometrial ablation (destruction of the endometrium). Local or general anaesthesia is used, and hysteroscopy may be an outpatient or day hospital procedure.

Hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose some problems in the uterus. The best time for hysteroscopy is during the first week or so after your period. During this time your physician is best able to view the inside of the uterus. Complications are unexpected problems that can occur during or after the procedure. Most women are not affected. The possible complications of any surgery include bleeding during or very soon after the procedure, infection and an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic. Diagnostic and operative hysteroscopy can be performed together or as separate procedures, depending on the patient and the nature of the patient’s medical condition. Because hysteroscopy leaves the uterus intact, in many cases it can offer a desirable alternative to hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) as a treatment for abnormal bleeding. When the hysteroscopy includes one or more procedures that aim to clarify or solve a problem it is called an operative hysteroscopy.

Why it is done?

  • A hysteroscopy may be done to find the cause of abnormal bleeding. Your doctor can pass heated tools through the hysteroscope to stop the bleeding.
  • Your doctor might suggest a hysteroscopy if you have difficulty getting pregnant (infertility).
  • It may be done to look at the uterine openings to the fallopian tubes. If the tubes are blocked, your doctor may be able to open the tubes with special tools passed through the hysteroscope.
  • To find and remove small fibroids or polyps.
  • Your doctor might suggest a hysteroscopy if you have severe cramping.
  • Hysteroscopy is done to confirm a diagnosis before starting treatment with medicines that have significant side effects, such as danazol or a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue.

How to prepare for the test?

  • Tell your doctor if you are or might be pregnant.
  • If you have regular cycles, it is helpful for you to anticipate the timing of your next period and plan to have the hysteroscopy done in the following week.
  • You may need to have some blood work done, usually within one week of your operation.
  • Tell your doctor ahead of time if you have ever had an allergic reaction to lidocaine or the numbing medicine used at the dentist’s office.
  • Do not eat or drink (even water) after midnight on the night before the operation.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any heart or lung problems.
  • Just before the test, you should empty your bladder.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

  • Hysteroscopy is very short with a easy recovery.
  • Removing the tumor from the uterus should relieve the problems it caused.
  • Hysteroscopy avoids the discomfort, hospitalization, expense, and longer recovery period of abdominal surgery, such as a myomectomy.

What are the risks?

  • Some of the procedures that are done along with hysteroscopy have risks of their own.
  • You may have slight bleeding and cramps for one or two days.
  • Some patients experience nausea from medicines used for anesthesia or anxiety.
  • Problems can arise with the medications and anaesthetic given.
  • Infections can occur. Sometimes this is severe enough to require the patient to stay in the hospital for several days.
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