1. Health

Hysteroscopy Procedure

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Updated March 29, 2010

What happens during the hysteroscopy procedure?

  1. The opening of your cervix may need to be dilated or made wider with special instruments.

  2. The hysteroscope is inserted through your vagina and cervix, and into your uterus.

  3. Next a liquid or gas is usually released through the hysteroscope to expand your uterus so your physician will have a better view of the inside.

  4. A light source shone through the hysteroscope allows your physician to see the inside of the uterus and the openings of the fallopian tubes into the uterine cavity.

  5. If surgery is required, small instruments are inserted through the hysteroscope.

Sometimes a laparoscope is used at the same time to view the outside of the uterus. When this happens a gas such as carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide is allowed to flow into the abdomen. The gas expands the abdomen so that the physician can see the organs easier. Most of the gas is removed at the end of the procedure. A laparoscopic procedure will be done in a hospital setting.

When will I be able to go home?

Patients who received a local anesthetic can usually go home soon after the procedure. Those who had regional or general anesthesia require a longer observation period before they are released, but can usually go home on the same day.

How will I feel after a hysteroscopy?

Some patients may experience shoulder pain following laparoscopy or when gas is used to expand the uterus. Once the gas is absorbed the discomfort should subside quickly. You may feel faint or sick, or you may have slight vaginal bleeding and cramps for 1-2 days following the procedure.

Contact your Doctor if you develop any of the following after your hysteroscopy:

  • Fever

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge

Is hysteroscopy safe?

Hysteroscopy is a fairly safe procedure. Problems that can occur happen in less than 1% of cases, but include:
  • Injury to the cervix or uterus

  • Infection

  • Heavy bleeding

  • Side effects from the anesthesia

Although general anesthesia is sometimes used, in the majority of cases it is not necessary. Hysteroscopy allows your physician to see inside your uterus and aids in the accurate diagnosis of some medical problems. The procedure and recovery time are usually short.

Source:

Hysteroscopy.ACOG Education Pamphlet AP084.http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp084.cfm. Accessed 08/24/09.

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