A D&C has a variety of uses and now it has the benefit of being safer and simpler, especially when performed by Viva Eve’s expert Ob/Gyn.
Using Dilation & Curettage to diagnose a condition
Your doctor might recommend a Dilation & Curettage called endometrial sampling to reach a correct diagnosis if the patient has the following symptoms:
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Bleeding after menopause
- Your gynecologist discovers abnormal endometrial cells during a routine test for cervical cancer
To perform the test, your doctor collects a tissue sample from the lining of your uterus (endometrium) and sends the sample to a lab for testing. The test can check for:
- Endometrial hyperplasia — a precancerous condition in which the uterine lining becomes too thick
- Uterine polyps
- Uterine cancer
Using Dilation & Curettage to treat a condition
When performing a D&C to treat a condition, your doctor removes the tissue from inside the uterus, not just a small tissue sample. Your doctor may do this to treat:
- Abnormal or irregular uterine bleeding (such as menorrhagia, post-menopausal bleeding, or spotting)
- Removal of fluid or tissue remains retained in the uterus that were found on imaging
- Removal of abnormal uterine tissue such as polyps and small fibroids
- Cervical stenosis (a condition when the passageway through the cervix becomes too narrow)
- The removal of tissue that remains in the uterus after a miscarriage, pregnancy termination, or preterm/term delivery
- Uterine hemorrhage
- Evaluation of gestational trophoblastic disease (a condition when abnormal trophoblast cells grow inside the uterus after conception)
- Bleeding that is not responding to hormone therapy
The latest technological advances in the way Dilation & Curettage is performed have made this procedure safer than ever, whether it is used for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.
Your doctor may perform the D&C along with another procedure called a hysteroscopy. During a hysteroscopy, your gynecologist inserts a slim instrument with a light and camera on the end into your vagina, through your cervix and up into your uterus.
Your doctor then views the lining of your uterus on a screen, noting any areas that look abnormal, making sure there aren’t any polyps and taking tissue samples as needed. During a hysteroscopy, your doctor can also remove uterine polyps and fibroid tumors.
Benefits & Risks
With the advancements of technology, more compassionate patient care, and patient awareness, procedures that used to be risky have become beneficial. Now, the rewards far outweighing the risks. The newer, safer, D&C techniques maybe a better solution for many women.
Even though there are risks to every procedure, technological advancements have removed many of the risks of a D&C. There are still some risks associated with this procedure, however, including:
- Bleeding or hemorrhage
- Cervical laceration
- Uterine perforation
- Intrauterine adhesions
- Complications from anesthesia
Dilation and curettage is usually done as an outpatient procedure, right here at the Viva Eve office.
Before the procedure, follow your Ob/Gyn’s instructions on limiting food and drink.
Make sure that you have someone available to accompany you home after the Dilation & Curettage procedure because you may be a little drowsy after the anesthesia wears off.
Allow enough time for the procedure and recovery afterwards. You’ll likely spend a few hours in recovery after the procedure and will need to rest after you get home.
Avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for a few days after the procedure.
You may spend a few hours in a recovery room at the Viva Eve office after the procedure so that your Ob/Gyn can monitor you for heavy bleeding or other complications. This will also give you time to recover from the effects of anesthesia.
With general anesthesia or light sedation, you may also feel drowsy for several hours. Normal side effects of a Dilation & Curettage may last a few days and include mild cramping and spotting or light bleeding.
In most cases your doctor may suggest taking over-the-counter pain medications or another medication for any discomfort or cramps. You should be able to resume your normal activities within a day or two.
You should avoid putting anything in your vagina until your cervix returns to normal to prevent bacteria from entering your uterus and causing an infection.
Your doctor will let you know when you can start using tampons and resume sexual activity.
It is completely normal if your next period doesn’t not come on time. Your uterus must build a new lining after a Dilation & Curettage, so If you had a D&C because of a miscarriage, and you want to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about when it’s safe to start trying again.
Your Ob/Gyn will discuss the results of the procedure after the Dilation & Curettage or at a follow-up appointment.