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Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a procedure which provides a direct look inside the uterus. It can be used for both diagnostic and operative purposes. If an abnormal condition is detected during the diagnostic procedure, the surgical procedure can often be performed at the same time, avoiding the need for a second surgery.

Diagnostic hysteroscopy involves the insertion of a long, thin, lighted telescope-like instrument, called a hysteroscope, through the cervix into the uterus in order to look for abnormalities such as fibroids, scarring, polyps, and congenital malformations. Carbon dioxide gas (CO2) or a special solution is injected into the uterus through the hysteroscope. This expands the uterine cavity and clears away secretions to enable the doctor to view the internal structure of the uterus. Diagnostic hysteroscopy is usually performed on an outpatient basis with either local or general anesthesia.

Operative hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure which can be used to treat many of the abnormalities found during diagnostic hysteroscopy. The procedures are similar but operative hysteroscopy uses a wider hysteroscope to allow operating instruments to be inserted through it to the uterus. Fibroids, scar tissue, tumors and polyps can be removed in this way. Endometrial ablation via hysteroscopy can treat uterine bleeding, avoiding the need for a hysterectomy.

When operative hysteroscopy is planned, diagnostic laparoscopy may be performed at the same time to allow the doctor to see the outside as well as the inside of the uterus.

Postoperative Care

  • Some vaginal discharge and cramping may be experienced for a few days.
  • Sexual intercourse should be avoided until bleeding stops.
  • Hormonal treatments may continue for several weeks.

Advantages

  • Disorders are corrected on an outpatient basis avoiding major surgery and hospitalization.
  • Patient experiences less discomfort.
  • Normal activities can resume within two to three days.
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