Diagnostic & Operative Hysteroscopy
Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure during which a long, thin telescopic instrument is passed through the vagina and the cervix to inspect the inside of the uterus without making an incision. Hysteroscope is used to diagnose and treat problems (operative hysteroscopy) that cause infertility, miscarriages and abnormal menstrual bleeding.
Hysteroscopy is a relatively safe procedure. It is usually performed by your physician in the operating room of a hospital or in an outpatient surgery center. Most women go home the same day. In some cases, the hysteroscopy can be done in the doctor’s office following a mild sedative or local anesthesia. Hysteroscopy usually takes 30 – 45 minutes.
Hysteroscopy allows your physician to:
- Check the size, shape and condition of the inside of the uterus (endometrium) better than simple imaging technologies alone
- Identify problems within the uterus such as polyps, fibroids, scarring and tumors
- Guide operative procedures to surgically remove any abnormal findings such as polyps, fibroids and scarring from inside the uterus and sometimes correct any congenital (inborn) abnormalities such as a septum (midline separation).
Sometimes other procedures, such as laparoscopy, are done at the same time as hysteroscopy.
Advantages of hysteroscopy compared with other more invasive procedures are:
- Avoidance of an incision as in “open” abdominal surgeries
- Shorter hospital stay
- Shorter recovery time
- Less pain medication needed after surgery
Although the risk of a complication is small, hysteroscopy can cause injury to the vagina, cervix and uterus, may cause an infection or abnormal bleeding. Accidental perforation of the uterus is the most common complication and occurs in up to 1% of operative hysteroscopies.