If you have certain uterine conditions, or if you have experienced a miscarriage or abortion, you may want to consider visiting us to see if you should undergo a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure. This is a common women’s health procedure done for both diagnosis and treatment of various issues.
Understandably, you probably have a number of questions surrounding this procedure, including what it is and why you may need it. We also realize you may not know what we consider a uterine condition or if you need this procedure, but we are here to help educate you. Read on to learn more about what D&C entails and why someone may need to undergo it.
What is D&C?
D&C is a typically an outpatient procedure performed to remove abnormal tissue in the uterine lining, or endometrium. It is specifically a procedure in which the cervix is dilated with small instruments and then a curette is used to remove the uterine tissue.
A D&C does involve anesthesia, but how we administer it will depend on the patient. We may also perform a hysteroscopy along with your D&C. During the hysteroscopy we will insert a small instrument with a camera into your vagina and up into your uterus. This is to determine if you have polyps and to take tissue samples as needed. We can also remove uterine polyps and fibroid tumors during this procedure.
While it sounds overwhelming, we can carry out this procedure in our office and patients can typically leave within a few hours. This, however, may vary based on the patient and the issue we are treating or diagnosing.
So what exactly are the uterine abnormalities that would require a D&C or what would we be looking to diagnose through a D&C? We will discuss your symptoms and possible D&C treatment options when you visit us, but we also know it helps to understand why we may recommend this procedure.
During a D&C we will remove all the contents from inside your uterus, we are not just getting a sample. We choose to remove all of the contents for a number of reasons, including:
- Remove tissue left over from a miscarriage or abortion
- Remove a molar pregnancy
- Remove uterine polyps
- Treat post-delivery heavy bleeding
Specifically, clearing the uterine lining through D&C is done for two main reasons: diagnosing and treating.
There are a number of reasons we may choose to perform a D&C for diagnosis. These include, but are not limited to, determining the cause of abnormal bleeding in the uterus, detecting cancer or investigating why a patient may be infertile.
D&C is not limited to a diagnostic procedure. It is also an effective treatment procedure. We specifically use D&C to remove abnormal uterine tissue after a patient experienced an abortion or miscarriage. This will help prevent infection and/or stop excessive bleeding.
If you think you may benefit from a D&C or want to know more about our procedure, come visit us.