Hysteroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses a device called a hysteroscope, a small tube attached to a light and camera. The hysteroscope is inserted into the uterus via the cervix in order for a doctor to view the interior of the uterus. It allows your doctor to determine any abnormalities or issues inside your uterus.
Hysteroscopy can be used for a diagnostic purpose. In this case, a doctor assesses the size, lining, and shape of the uterus and looks for any concerns. Once the hysteroscope is in place, the doctor will fill the uterus with a gas or liquid solution to enlarge the uterus for a better view. The camera in the hysteroscope will transmit a feed to a monitor inside the procedure room to be viewed by the doctor.
An operative hysteroscopy is used to correct problems that appear, like adhesions, polyps, or fibroids. This is done through inserting small tools via the hysteroscope.
No incisions are necessary in a hysteroscopy and the whole procedure can take only a few minutes to an hour.
Why Opt for Hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is used to diagnose potential issues in the uterus. Sometimes it is used in order to look for potential causes of infertility. A doctor may recommend a hysteroscopy to examine for several conditions, including:
- Uterine polyps
- Fallopian tube blockages
- Septums, or walls of tissue within the uterus that can cause miscarriage
- Unusual uterus shape or appearance
- Unexpected or abnormal bleeding
Hysteroscopy is used only for women who are not pregnant. The best timing for this procedure is between day six and day 10 of the menstrual cycle to steer clear of both menstruation and pregnancy.
The Hysteroscopy Procedure
During a hysteroscopy, a woman will generally receive a sedative in order to ensure comfort and relaxation throughout the procedure. Prior to the procedure, a woman receiving a hysteroscopy will empty her bladder and wear a gown. During the procedure, the patient will lay face up with feet in stirrups, as if for a gynecological examination. The doctor will dilate the cervix so that the hysteroscope can be inserted. Then, the hysteroscope will be inserted into the uterus via the vagina and cervix.
After the hysteroscope is in place, a liquid or gas will be inserted into the uterus to expand it for visibility. The doctor will use a light through the hysteroscope to view the uterus and the entrances of the fallopian tubes. If any treatment is needed, small surgical instruments will be inserted through the scope.
After Your Treatment
You may need to wait before going home in order to ensure that the sedation has worn off. The entire procedure itself will not take very long and is generally performed on an outpatient, in-office basis. You may feel some slight cramping or shoulder pain following the procedure.
The use of hysteroscopy allows for significant examination and even repair of the uterus to be completed without abdominal incisions and with a minimally invasive procedure.