Hysteroscopy provides a way for your physician to look inside your uterus. A hysteroscope is a thin, telescope-like instrument that is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix. This tool often helps a physician diagnose or treat a uterine problem. Hysteroscopy is minor surgery which is performed either in your physician’s office or in a hospital setting. It can be performed with local, regional, or general anesthesia–sometimes no anesthesia is needed. There is little risk involved with this procedure for most women.
When is hysteroscopy used?
Hysteroscopy is used to diagnose some uterine abnormalities, and may also be used to confirm the results of other tests such as hysterosalpingography (HSG). Other instruments or techniques, such as dilation and curettage (D&C) and laparoscopy, are sometimes used in conjunction with the hysteroscopy. Diagnostic hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose certain conditions such as abnormal uterine bleeding, infertility, repeated miscarriages, adhesions, fibroid tumors, polyps, or to locate displaced intrauterine devices (IUDs).
An hysterocopy may be used, instead of open abdominal surgery, to both diagnose and treat certain conditions such as uterine adhesions, septums, or fibroids which can often be removed through the hysteroscope.
When should hysteroscopy be performed?
The best time for hysteroscopy is during the first week or so after your period. During this time your physician is best able to view the inside of the uterus.
How will I be prepared for hysteroscopy?
If you are having general anesthesia, you will be told not to eat or drink anything for a certain period of time (usually after midnight the night before) before the procedure. Routine lab tests may be ordered as well for women having a hysteroscopy. You will be asked to empty your bladder and your vaginal area will be cleansed with an antiseptic. Sometimes a drug to help you relax is ordered. Next you will be prepared for the anesthetic to numb the area.
Tell your doctor if you:
– Are or might be pregnant.
– Are taking any medicines.
– Are allergic to any medicines.
– Have had bleeding problems or take blood-thinners, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin).
– Have been treated for a vaginal, cervical, or pelvic infection in the past 6 weeks.
– Have any heart or lung problems.
It is best to have a hysteroscopy done when you are not having your menstrual period. If there is a chance that you could become pregnant, the hysteroscopy should be done before you are ovulating so your doctor is sure you are not pregnant. Do not douche, use tampons, or use vaginal medicines for 24 hours before the hysteroscopy. You may be given a medicine (sedative) to relax you for the test, or general, regional, or local anesthesia can be used. Your doctor will discuss this with you.
If you are going to have general anesthesia, you will not be able to eat or drink for 8 hours before the test.
Remember to ask questions if anything is about your procedure or anesthesia is unclear.
To find out more information on Hysteroscopy, or to find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure, contact a representative at Nezhat Medical Center to request an in-office consultation with Dr. Ceana Nezhat.