You have probably heard the terms hysteroscopy and hysterectomy, or maybe your primary doctor has even recommended one or both of these procedures. While these surgeries may sound similar, they are actually quite different.
Understanding the Hysteroscopy/Hysterectomy Difference
A hysteroscopy is an imaging procedure that allows the doctor to view the inside of the uterus and diagnose potential health problems. A hysterectomy refers to the removal of the uterus. As a woman, it is a good idea to learn all that you can about the hysteroscopy/hysterectomy differences and why each procedure is typically recommended.
What is Hysteroscopy?
During a typical hysteroscopy procedure, the doctor inserts a thin tube fitted with a tiny camera, called a hysteroscope, into the uterus through the vagina. This instrument allows the specialist to visualize the lining of the uterus, often to diagnose the cause of infertility, unexplained bleeding or cramping, endometrial cancer or recurrent miscarriage.
A hysteroscopy can also be used to find and remove an intrauterine device, remove small fibroids or polyps, place a contraceptive implant or perform a procedure called endometrial ablation.
A hysteroscopy can usually be done under general or local anesthesia, and is an outpatient procedure that typically does not require a hospital stay. Side effects are rare. Most people can return to regular activities almost immediately, but must avoid sexual activity for up to a week.
What is Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is the removal of all or part of the uterus, sometimes along with the fallopian tubes and/or ovaries. This procedure may be done for a variety of reasons, including uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, uterine, ovarian or cervical cancer, endometriosis, abnormal bleeding or chronic pelvic pain. Since this surgery results in infertility, it is usually done only as a last resort when other treatment options have been ineffective.
There are several different surgical techniques used for hysterectomy, depending on the woman’s age, the reason for the surgery and other factors. Hysterectomy can also be done as a minimally-invasive procedure, which shortens recovery time. Robotic-assisted procedures can help surgeons more precisely visualize and guide the instruments.
Learn More Hysteroscopy/Hysterectomy Facts
Talk with Dr. Sherry Thomas in Agoura Hills if you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, or if you want to learn more about hysteroscopy/hysterectomy, or our other gynecologic procedures. Dr. Thomas and her team of professionals are committed to providing exceptional gynecological care. Contact her office today to schedule your appointment to learn more about our hysteroscopy and hysterectomy procedures.