D&C and Hysteroscopy

Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a method for investigating reproductive system problems such as painful periods, suspected uterine cancer, and abnormal uterine bleeding. It is also sometimes used to remove small growths or polyps from the uterus.

Usually a D&C is done under a general anesthetic. Your abdominal muscles are more relaxed when you are under anesthesia, and this makes a thorough pelvic exam easier. The next step is dilating (widening) the entrance to the uterus, or cervix, with an instrument called a dilator.

When that has been completed, the doctor will insert a curette (a spoonlike metal instrument) through the vagina into the cervix and uterus. The curette is used to scrape away the top layers of the cervical canal and endometrium (uterine lining). These samples are then submitted to pathology for microscopic examination.


What is a Hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is a procedure that involves looking into the cavity of the uterus with a small camera. It is usually done at the same time as a D&C.

Where are the procedures done?

Most D&C and hysteroscopy procedures are done in the outpatient surgical setting. The procedure will take 20-30 minutes. You will be in the recovery room for 1-2 hours.

What do I need to do prior to the procedure?

Since the procedures are done under general anesthesia, you cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure.

What can I expect after the procedure?

You may experience spotting and light bleeding like a period after the procedure. You may also feel weak and have cramps that last several hours. Tylenol or Advil usually work very well at relieving this discomfort. Most patients do not have any problems and can return to regular activities the next day.

When should I call the doctor?

  • A fever above 101
  • Severe lower abdominal pain
  • Abnormal discharge with foul odor
  • Heavy bleeding with clots

Follow up for your future

You are asked to call our office (419-471-2025) in 3-4 days to review pathology reports with the nurse. A follow-up appointment is necessary 2-3 weeks after the procedure for an examination and to discuss further testing or treatment.