What is a Hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is a medical procedure that allows the surgeon to look inside the uterus. It entails the use of a device known as a hysteroscope. A hysteroscope is a thin tube with a light attached to one end. When inserted into the vagina, it passes through the cervix into the uterus.

Once inside the uterus, a gas or liquid may be used to expand the uterine cavity. The camera then transmits images from inside the cavity to a computer screen. Hysteroscopy does not involve making any cuts on the skin as the tube is inserted through the vaginal opening. While this procedure is usually used to diagnose an underlying reproductive problem, it can also be used as a potential treatment method.

Who Qualifies for a Hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is typically performed on women who have the following problems:

●       Abnormal Bleeding: To investigate issues such as heavy menstruation, post-menopausal bleeding, and unexplained vaginal or uterine bleeding.

●       Abnormal Pap Results: To investigate unusual pap results that may indicate changes to the cells in the cervix lining.

●       Uterine Adhesions: Examine and/or remove adhesions or scar tissue that could interfere with regular menstruation or cause infertility.

●       Fibroids/Polyps: Examination or surgical removal of uterine growths known as fibroids or polyps.

●       Miscarriages: Determine the cause of multiple miscarriages or investigate conception issues.

●       Issue with Intrauterine Devices (IUD): To place or find an intrauterine device (IUD) that has become displaced.

●       Biopsy purposes: To obtain a uterine lining tissue sample for further testing.

A hysteroscopy is not recommended if you are pregnant or have pelvic pain. Instead, a medical professional will review your medical history to determine if you are eligible for this procedure.

What to Expect During a Hysteroscopy?

A hysteroscopy is typically a minor procedure performed as an outpatient. This means you could be released on the same day as your surgery. The procedure itself can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. However, the scope of the procedure will determine all this.

Before the procedure, you will be asked to empty your bladder and change into a comfortable hospital gown. Then you'll be asked to lie on your back with your feet in stirrups.

The type of hysteroscopy being performed will determine the type of anaesthesia that will be administered. For example, you may be given local or general anaesthesia.

A speculum may be inserted during the procedure to expand your vaginal orifice. This allows the surgeon to easily insert the hysteroscope tube. Then, the surgeon may simply examine the uterine cavity or use other surgical instruments to treat any underlying conditions.

Risks and Complications of Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a safe procedure per se. However, there may be a small amount of risk involved. This is especially in the case of operative hysteroscopy. 

●       Uterine Infection: A negative reaction to the procedure may result in heavy bleeding or fever. Women may also notice unusual and odorous vaginal discharge. These are usually bacterial infections that can be treated with antibiotics.

●       Heavy Bleeding: This is a possible side effect of operative hysteroscopy. Women may experience excessive bleeding as a result of treatments under general anaesthesia.

●       Cervical or Uterine Damage: This is an uncommon and accidental occurrence that may result in scarring or a tear in the uterus or cervix.

●       Dizziness: Some women may complain of mild dizziness following the procedure. However, this issue may resolve quickly, often on its own.

With advances in the medical field, a hysteroscopy allows for a minimally invasive procedure with both diagnostic and operative benefits.

This procedure is performed at several well-known hospitals. You can request a consultation with a medical professional at Apollo Fertility Hospitals in JP Nagar, Benagulru, to undergo a thorough medical evaluation in this regard.

1. What happens after a hysteroscopy?

You should be able to resume normal activities soon after the procedure. However, you may also be advised not to douche, use menstrual cups or tampons, or engage in sexual activity for at least two weeks following the procedure.

2. What are the benefits of a hysteroscopy?

A hysteroscopy is a low-risk procedure that requires only a brief hospital stay. It aids in identifying and treating a wide range of abnormal uterine issues without the use of cuts or open surgery. As a result, less pain medication is required.

3. Is hysteroscopy painful?

The amount of pain experienced by women during a hysteroscopy varies. Some women may only feel minor discomfort. Others may experience more discomfort and severe pain.

4. Is D&C the same as hysteroscopy?

Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure that involves using medication to dilate the uterus or cervix and then removing uterine tissue with a 'curette.' It differs from a hysteroscopy. D&C is typically used to treat excessive menstrual bleeding or the contents of the uterus following a miscarriage or abortion.

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