Hysteroscopy

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What are the risks and complications of hysteroscopy?

Women should expect to experience light vaginal bleeding and some cramping after the hysteroscopy procedure. Some cramping may be felt during the procedure, depending upon the type of anesthesia.

Complications of hysteroscopy are rare and include perforation of the uterus, bleeding, infection, damage to the urinary or digestive tract, and medical complications resulting from reactions to drugs or anesthetic agents. Accidental perforation of the uterus is the most common complication and occurs in 0.1% of diagnostic hysteroscopy procedures and 1% of therapeutic (surgical) hysteroscopies. Other rare complications are fluid overload or gas embolism (when gas bubbles enter the bloodstream) from the distending medium used in the procedure.

What is the outlook after hysteroscopy?

The outlook depends upon the individual case and the reason for hysteroscopy. Many minor surgical procedures can be successfully performed using hysteroscopy. Complications are rare, and most women recover with only minor post-procedure cramping and bleeding.

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCE:

Jansen FW; Vredevoogd CB; van Ulzen K; Hermans J; Trimbos JB; Trimbos-Kemper TC. Complications of hysteroscopy: a prospective, multicenter study. Obstet Gynecol 2000 Aug;96(2):266-70.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/23/2016

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