Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the uterine cavity. This diagnostic test can also treat blockages, endometriosis or adhesions. Hysteroscopy is useful in the treatment of uterine fibroids that impact the cavity, scarring, polyps and congenital malformations such as a uterine septum.

How It Works

An operative hysteroscopy is usually done in the operating room under general anaesthesia if significant repairs are needed. A diagnostic hysteroscopy may be done in your doctor’s office, but generally repairs are done in the operating room. The hysteroscope, a lighted tube, is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus.

Once the hysteroscope is inserted, carbon dioxide gas or a liquid is inserted into the uterus to expand the cavity and clear away any blood and mucous.

In operative (rather than diagnostic) hysteroscopy, a larger hysteroscope is used so operating instruments can be placed in the uterine cavity through the hysteroscope. After surgery, a Foley catheter (flexible tube) or intrauterine device might be placed inside the uterus to make sure the walls of the uterus don’t fuse together or form scar tissue. It is removed after a few days.

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Risks/Side Effects

There are risks and side effects associated with hysteroscopy. Complications are reported in about 2 out of every 100 procedures. It is common to experience vaginal discharge or bleeding, and cramping for several days. The most common complication is perforation of the uterus, which usually heals spontaneously. Perforations may be more serious and require further surgery, especially if there is bleeding or damage to nearby organs. Infections or uterine adhesions may also develop. More serious complications are related to the fluid used to expand the uterus, including fluid overload, fluid in the lungs, electrolyte imbalance, problems with blood clotting and severe allergic reactions. Severe and life-threatening complications are very uncommon with this procedure. Your healthcare provider will discuss important safety information with you about this procedure.

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