What is hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is a minor and fairly safe surgical procedure used for diagnosis and/or treatment of various conditions of the uterus. In this procedure, a thin telescopic instrument called hysteroscope is inserted into the uterus through the vagina to view the internal structures for diagnosing or treating the conditions. The camera in the hysteroscope projects the images on to a large television screen, thereby helping the surgeon to view the internal structures.
What are the applications of hysteroscopy?
It is most commonly used to diagnose the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. It is also used to diagnose adhesions, cause of repeated miscarriages or infertility, fibroid tumours, polyps or to locate displaced intrauterine device. It is sometimes used as an alternative to open abdominal surgery to remove adhesions, septums or fibroids and to put small implants into the fallopian tubes as a permanent method of sterilisation in woman.
When should hysteroscopy be scheduled?
It can be done any time when you are not having menstrual periods but the doctor is able to see the uterus more clearly either in the first week or just after your period.
How is hysteroscopy done?
It is a simple procedure and can be done in the doctor's office or in a hospital. The procedure is done under local or general anaesthesia as per your doctor's discretions based on the purpose of the procedure.
Your cervix, the opening of the uterus into the vagina, is dilated by inserting medication in it or using special dilator instruments. A speculum is inserted into the vagina and the hysteroscope is then inserted through the speculum into the vagina and slowly advanced into the uterus. A gas or liquid is released from the hysteroscope into the uterus, thereby expanding the area, allowing for a better view of the inside of the uterus, especially the lining of the uterus and the openings of the fallopian tubes in the uterus. Surgical instruments are passed through the hysteroscope if other surgical procedures are to be done.
What can I expect after hysteroscopy?
You will be allowed to go home the same day in case local anaesthesia was used, but you may need to be hospitalised for longer if general anaesthesia was used during the procedure. You will have mild vaginal bleeding and mild cramps for few days after the procedure which is not a cause for concern.
What are the risks of hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is generally safe. In rare cases, injury may occur to the uterus or cervix during the procedure and may result in heavy bleeding. Infections or reactions to the anaesthesia are some of the adverse effects observed in few individuals.
What should I do if I experience any problem during the recovery period?
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the below mentioned conditions:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Severe abdominal pain