For certain urogynecological issues, getting a close look inside the uterus is key to confirming diagnoses and, in some cases, fixing all or part of the problem. One of the best ways that your doctor can do this is via a method known as Hysteroscopy.
Hysteroscopy is a way for your doctor to get a close look at the uterus and uterine lining. A tool called a hysteroscope has a small surgical camera on the end of it, which allows for close viewing in order to determine what, if any, problems may be present. Common reasons for using this device include:
- Problems with menstrual cycles, such as abnormal bleeding (especially in postmenopausal women) and severe cramps
- Possible infertility issues, including checking the size and shape of the uterus, checking the fallopian tube openings for blockage and finding possible reasons for repeated miscarriage
- Problems with misplaced intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Detecting and removing small growths in the uterus, such as polyps or fibroids
- Problems with endometriosis, including determining and performing endometrial ablation, if needed
- Placing certain contraceptive implants
Hysteroscopy is a reasonably simple procedure that is done either in the comfort of our practice or in a hospital. It can often be done with just local anesthesia, though in some cases general anesthesia is advisable — Dr. Thomas will let you know what is best for you if you are having this procedure.
Once you are sedated, the scope will be inserted so that the problem, its cause, or other issues can be identified. In some cases, the issue will be fixed right then, such as in the case of removing fibroids or doing a biopsy; in others, the hysteroscopy is done for diagnostic reasons. Generally speaking, this is a quick procedure, taking less than 30 minutes on average. If you are having an additional procedure, that will affect the actual amount of time needed. Again, this is a detail that Dr. Thomas will have covered with you before you have your Hysteroscopy.
This is an outpatient procedure for most patients; in some rare cases, an overnight hospital stay will be required. And it is important that you have someone drive you to and from your appointment since sedatives and anesthesia will be used.
Following your hysteroscopy, some recovery time will be needed and there may be some post-procedure care required. Most people will be able to return to normal activities within a couple of days, though certain activities (including sexual intercourse) will take a bit longer to resume. You may also experience some minor side effects, including some cramping, watery discharge, or light bleeding.
For more information on Hysteroscopy or to ask questions about your upcoming procedure, call our office today. We are here to assist you in any way we can.