Hysteroscopy

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Hysteroscopy facts

  • Hysteroscopy is the visualization of the inside of the uterine cavity by inserting special visualization scopes through the vagina and cervical opening.
  • Hysteroscopy can be carried out to aid in diagnosis or to perform minor surgical procedures.
  • In many cases hysteroscopy can be performed as an outpatient (same-day) surgical procedure.
  • Complications of hysteroscopy are rare. The most commonly reported complication is perforation of the uterus.

What is hysteroscopy?

This procedure is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for viewing the inside of the uterus. Hysteroscopy is performed by inserting a visualizing scope through the vagina and into the cervical opening. Hysteroscopy allows visualization of the inside of the uterus, including the openings to the Fallopian tubes, as well as direct examination of the cervix, cervical canal, and vagina.

Why is hysteroscopy done?

Hysteroscopy can be performed for both diagnosis or also for treatment (therapeutic). Hysteroscopy is one of several procedures that your doctor may recommend to evaluate or treat abnormalities of the uterus or cervix. Since hysteroscopy examines the lining and interior of the uterus, it is not suitable for evaluating problems within the muscular wall or on the outer surface of the uterus.

Hysteroscopy may be recommended as one step in the evaluation of a number of gynecological problems, including:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Retained placenta or products of conception after a birth or miscarriage
  • Congenital (inborn) anatomical abnormalities of the female genital tract
  • Scarring, or adhesions, from previous uterine surgery or instrumentation such as dilation and curettage (D&C)
  • Polyps or fibroid tumors inside the cervical canal or inside the uterine cavity

Hysteroscopy can also be used to help pinpoint the location of abnormalities in the uterine lining for sampling and biopsy. Hysteroscopy can also be used to perform surgical sterilization.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/26/2014

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