What is a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a minor surgical procedure that helps gynecologists determine the underlying cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. The procedure is carried out with a hysteroscope, which is a thin, lighted telescope-like device that’s inserted into the vagina and transmits clear, magnified images to a video monitor in real time.
Hysteroscopy is used to examine your cervix, the interior of your uterus, and the openings of each fallopian tube. It may be used to diagnose as well as treat a condition, often in a single procedure.
This simple in-office procedure is often used to help confirm a suspected diagnosis related to abnormal uterine bleeding; it’s also often used in conjunction with other tests and procedures, including laparoscopy, which uses a lighted camera to view the outside of your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
This procedure is used to treat or correct a condition that’s been detected during a diagnostic hysteroscopy. During operative hysteroscopy, tiny surgical instruments are inserted through the hysteroscope to complete the treatment.
In many cases, an operative hysteroscopy can be performed within the same procedure as a diagnostic hysteroscopy, eliminating the need for a second surgery.
What conditions can be treated through a hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is routinely used to diagnose and treat the cause of heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding. This usually involves having an endometrial biopsy during the procedure to take a tissue sample of the lining of your uterus.
A hysteroscopy is also used to diagnose and treat:
- Polyps and fibroids, or benign uterine growths
- Adhesions, or uterine scar tissue
- Cervical or uterine cancer
- Endometrial hyperplasia, a precancerous condition
- Uterine septum, or malformation of the uterus
A hysteroscopy can be done to help determine the cause of repeated miscarriages or remove tissue following pregnancy loss; it can also be helpful when removing an intrauterine device (IUD).
How is a hysteroscopy performed?
A hysteroscopy is an in-office procedure that’s best scheduled about one week after your menstrual period, when your gynecologist will have the best view of your uterus.
Before the procedure, you may receive medication to help you relax; you may also be given medication that helps dilate your cervix as well as a local anesthetic to ensure optimal comfort.
After a speculum is inserted to help open your vagina, the hysteroscope is gently inserted and threaded through your cervix into your uterus. Next, carbon dioxide gas or saline solution is carefully sent through the instrument for optimal viewing.
If you require an endometrial biopsy or another procedure, your doctor will use small surgical instruments through the hysteroscope to get the job done.
To learn more, call your nearest Pure OBGYN office or schedule an appointment online today.