A hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to look inside the uterus with a small, telescope-like device. It is used to diagnose problems in the uterus such as abnormal bleeding or an abnormal growth, like fibroids or polyps. It can also be done in order to retrieve a sample of tissue in order to check for cancerous growth. Additionally, the hysteroscopy can be used to look for a lost IUD or for help removing an IUD.
HOW IS A HYSTEROSCOPY DONE?
A hysteroscope is a thin, lighted telescope-like device. It is inserted through your vagina into your uterus. The hysteroscope transmits the image of your uterus onto a screen. Other instruments are used along with the hysteroscope for treatment.
Hysteroscopy is an important way for our doctors to help diagnose a potential problem with your uterus that they normally would not be able to do without looking inside. When undergoing the hysteroscopy, you will be under local, regional or general anesthesia so you cannot feel the procedure. The doctor will then dilate your cervix with a special instrument so he or she can then insert the hysteroscope into the uterus. He or she then is free to look around in the uterus and through the fallopian tubes to see if there are any problems. If the hysteroscopy also involves surgical work, tiny instruments can be inserted and maneuvered through the hysteroscope.
HYSTEROSCOPY IS USED TO HELP WITH:
In this case, a hysteroscopy may be used to diagnose a problem that you may have or to confirm a test result. Diagnostic hysteroscopy procedures are very important because they allow your doctor to see things he or she may miss during a normal exterior check up, or to find things that were hidden or very small that are still causing problems.
If a woman is having problems with her uterus, it may be because adhesions and growths have formed along the wall. Adhesions (bands of scar tissue) may form and can effect fertility and menses.
Also, growths called polyps and fibroids may form inside the uterus, which have the potential to become cancerous. Hysteroscopy procedures help identify all these problems so the appropriate actions may be taken.
ABNORMAL UTERINE BLEEDING:
A woman who has extremely heavy menstrual bleeding or post-menopausal bleeding may have a hysteroscopy performed on her to determine the root cause of the abnormal bleeding. In this case, a biopsy of the uterus may also be taken.
If a woman is using a form of contraception called an intra-uterine device (IUD) which is placed into the uterus, it has the potential to become dislodged. A hysteroscopy can be used to locate and correct the placement of an IUD that has become displaced.
The hysteroscopy is used to place small implants into a woman’s fallopian tubes as a permanent form of birth control.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING HYSTEROSCOPY RECOVERY
You should be able to go home shortly after the procedure. If you had general anesthesia, you may need to wait until its effects have worn off.
It is normal to have some mild cramping or a little bloody discharge for a few days after the procedure. You may be given medication to help ease the pain. If you have a fever, chills, or heavy bleeding, call your health care provider right away.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS OR COMPLICATIONS THAT COULD ARISE FROM THE PROCEDURE?
As with all procedures, there are a few risks associated with a hysteroscopy. Injury to the cervix or uterus could occur, but that is exceedingly rare and happens in less than 1% of all cases. Also, infection could spread, but this is also not likely. However, if you have severe abdominal pain and/or a fever, see your doctor immediately.
Who is a candidate for hysteroscopy?
With hysteroscopy, our Premier OB/GYN doctors can see into your cervix and inside your uterus. Among the most common reasons for a hysteroscopy are periods that are longer or heavier than normal, or bleeding between periods.
Patients would also need to have a hysteroscopy for these situations:
- Your Pap test results are abnormal.
- You’ve been bleeding after menopause.
- There are fibroids, polyps, or scarring on your uterus.
- You’ve had more than one miscarriage or problems getting pregnant.
- Your doctor needs a small tissue sample of the lining of your uterus.
- You’ve having a sterilization procedure as a permanent form of birth control.
- Your IUD has come out of place.
Will I have to stay in the hospital overnight after a hysteroscopy?
We perform diagnostic hysteroscopies in our Premier OB/GYN offices, and patients can return home immediately afterwards. For uses beyond diagnostics these are considered minor surgery, they will typically be done in the hospital. Overnight stays are not usually necessary. If you receive general anesthesia, you’ll need to wait for it to wear off, but you can then return home.
What type of anesthesia is used for hysteroscopy?
For diagnostic purposes, we usually use local anesthesia with a sedative to help you relax. In the hospital, general anesthesia is used.
What are the benefits of hysteroscopy?
These are far less invasive procedures. Recovery time is quick, and we can perform many diagnostic hysteroscopies right in our 4th Avenue offices in Bradenton. Patients can return home the same day. There isn’t any abdominal wound, so there isn’t the corresponding pain or risk of infection.
What is the difference between a diagnostic or operative hysteroscopy?
The goal with every hysteroscopy is to either diagnose or treat problems of the uterus or womb. Generally, they are broken into diagnostic hysteroscopy or operative hysteroscopy.
Besides cases of abnormal bleeding, these are reasons we may perform a diagnostic hysteroscopy in our Premier OB/GYN offices:
- To diagnose the cause of repeated miscarriages
- To diagnose some conditions, such as fibroids or polyps, which are non-cancerous growths in the womb
- To investigate fertility issues if the woman is having difficulty becoming pregnant
- To investigate pelvic pain
Operative hysteroscopy is usually performed at a hospital for these reasons:
- To remove adhesions, scars that bind tissues together inside the uterus
- To locate and remove an IUD that was inserted into the uterus for birth control
- To remove fibroids or growths
- To perform a sterilization procedure
- To take a tissue biopsy for further examination
How do I prepare for a hysteroscopy?
You’ll need to take a pregnancy test about one week prior to your hysteroscopy. This is because this procedure cannot be performed when a patient is pregnant.
SCHEDULE YOUR HYSTEROSCOPY TODAY
A hysteroscopy procedure can be a life saving thing; because of this procedure, your doctor has the ability to see almost anything that could be making you sick, and fixing them. Although hysteroscopy procedures have the stigma of being uncomfortable and intimidating, they are truthfully one of the safest procedures possible. If worried about pain or nerves, it is important to know all the facts about the procedure you are undergoing and what all will be going on. Contact Premier OB/GYN today at (941) 745-5115 to discuss any fears or concerns you may have about the procedure.