A hysteroscopy is a procedure that employs a thin telescope, called a hysteroscope, to examine the inside of your uterus via the vagina and cervix. It is used to investigate a number of common gynaecological conditions, such as heavy periods, fibroids, polyps, reasons for infertility, or abnormal bleeding.
A hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of your uterus via the vagina and cervix. It is painless and should be no cause for concern. Let’s take a look at what it entails.
Hysteroscopy is a very common procedure and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. It’s a very effective way to examine the uterus without having to make any surgical incisions.
Dr Brown always performs hysteroscopy under anaesthesia, so you will not be uncomfortable. Should you have any questions or concerns about a hysteroscopy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Let’s take a look at some of the specifics about the procedure below.
Why Is a Hysteroscopy Necessary?
A hysteroscopy may be used to both diagnose and treat a number of conditions of the uterine cavity. These include:
• Investigation of infertility
• Diagnosis and treatment of abnormal bleeding in the uterus
• Diagnosis and removal of polyps or fibroids
• Investigation and treatment of scar tissue or adhesions in the uterus
• Investigation and treatment of uterine abnormalities, such as a uterine septum (a malformation in the uterus)
• Endometriosis – although hysteroscopy is not required to diagnose and treat endometriosis, it may be required to treat a symptom associated with the condition.
• Find and remove a misplaced IUD
How Is It Performed?
A hysteroscopy is a minor procedure that can be either performed in the clinic or in hospital. Dr Brown always performs hysteroscopy in hospital, under general anaesthesia. During the procedure you will be in the same position as is usual for a standard gynecological exam (on your back with your feet up in ski boot style foot rests).
The cervix is dilated and the hysteroscope is passed through the vagina and cervix to view the uterus. A liquid solution is then inserted into the uterus via the hysteroscope to expand it, allowing better visualisation. The hysteroscope has a light and camera attached, which allows the doctor to view the uterus, uterine lining (endometrium), and fallopian tubes, and diagnose any issues.
Surgical devices may also be placed through the hysteroscope to perform any necessary operative procedures, such as the removal of fibroids.
The procedure shouldn’t be painful, but may be mildly uncomfortable. Cramping is common. The length of the anaesthesia you need will depend on the purpose of the hysteroscopy. For a simple examination it should not take more than 10 minutes. For anything more complicated, it may take up to 30 minutes or longer.
Recovery After a Hysteroscopy
The recovery time will depend on the extent of the procedure too. Cramping, some bleeding, mild nausea and some dizziness for a few days after the procedure are all common.
As for any procedure involving general anaesthesia, you will usually need to stay in the clinic or hospital until the effects have worn off. However, a hysteroscopy is almost always an outpatient procedure, unless there are complications, which is very rare.
Your gynaecologist will advise you on recovery. If surgery was involved you may be advised to take a few days off to rest. For a simple diagnostic procedure, you will be able to return to work the next day.
Risks and Complications Involved
A hysteroscopy is considered a very safe procedure. However, as with any surgery, there are some risks involved. These are very rare.
Possible complications include:
• Scarring of the uterus
• Excessive bleeding
• Reaction to the anaesthesia, or the gas or liquid used to expand the cervix
If you experience any symptoms such as fever, heavy bleeding, chills or severe pain in the abdomen, contact your doctor immediately.
If you have any questions regarding hysteroscopy, or would like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Dr Bevan Brown is one of the most trusted gynaecologists and obstetricians in Sydney. We will strive to give you guidance and compassionate care in every way possible.