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Dilation And Curettage (D & C)

This is a procedure done by a Gynecologist in a hospital operating room or ambulatory surgery clinic. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and is done under general anesthesia.

The purpose is to help diagnose the cause of abnormal menstrual bleeding or infertility when an endometrial biopsy cannot be done.  As treatment, to stop heavy bleeding or remove residual tissue following miscarriage, abortion, or occasionally, childbirth.

The cervical opening is dilated and a tissue sample from the lining of the uterus is scraped out. The patient may have to go to the hospital ne or two days before the D & C for blood and urine tests and to rule out pregnancy if the procedure is diagnostic.  You will not be allowed to have any food 8 hours prior to surgery if you are having general anesthesia. If the procedure is to be performed under local anesthetic, you may be given an oral sedative about 30 minutes before the procedure. You lie on a table with your feet in stirrups as for a pelvic exam. Once you are sedated, a local anesthetic is injected into the cervix.

BRIEF ABOUT THE PROCEDURE

During dilation and curettage, or a D & C, the cervix is opened, or dilated, by using metal rods of increasing size. A spoon-shaped curette is then used to scrape tissue from the uterine lining.

After the test

  • A tissue sample is sent to the lab for examination.
  • If you have had general anesthesia, you will remain in a recovery room and your vital signs will be monitored for about one hour until the anesthesia wears off.
  • Once you are up and moving around, you are free to dress and leave, but you should arrange to have a friend or family member drive you home.
  • You may experience mild to moderate cramping over the next 24 hours or so and you may be given a prescription for a painkiller.
  • You can return to work or other usual activities as soon as you feel able, within hours or one or two days.
  • You may have bleeding requiring you to wear sanitary napkins for two weeks or more.
  • You should avoid sexual intercourse, tampons and douching for at least two weeks to prevent infection.
  • If you experience heavy bleeding, strong cramping, unusual vaginal discharge, or fever, notify your doctor immediately.

A pathologist will examine the tissue sample for any abnormalities.

The advantages to this procedure are that

  • A large sample can usually be obtained in this way.
  • The test is accurate.
  • It may provide the cure if abnormal cells are removed.
  • If the D & C was performed to stop heavy bleeding or remove residual tissue following a miscarriage or abortion, or to remove polyps, no further testing or treatment may be necessary.
  • If the laboratory results indicate cancer, surgery may be scheduled.
RELATED ARTICLES

The other Gynecology Procedures are:

HOSPITALS FOR DILATION AND CURETTAGE (D & C)
Few Major Hospitals for Dilation And Curettage (D & C) are:
DESTINATIONS FOR DILATION AND CURETTAGE (D & C)

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