Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure which allows the doctor to directly visualise the inner cervix and the uterine (womb) cavity. The hysteroscope is a small diameter lens with a strong light source and a small camera at the end that can be passed through the cervix and into the womb. It can be performed in an outpatient setting and also in theatre under general anaesthesia.
The procedure, itself can take anywhere from 5 – 16 minutes, depending on what is been done. A diagnostic procedure means that only a simple evaluation of the cavity is performed. However, minimal access surgery can also be performed in order to do corrections to an abnormal womb.
Why is hysteroscopy performed in gynaecology?
A hysteroscopy is indicated in the following cases:
- Malformations of the womb
- Scarring in the cavity due to previous operations
- Abnormal growths inside the womb
- Recurrent miscarriages
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Post-menopausal bleeding
Most patients can be discharged on the same day of the procedure. You may experience cramping afterwards and slight bleeding for a couple of days. You will be able to eat or drink immediately after the procedure and you should be able to return to normal duties within a day or two. Because of the anaesthesia, you will not be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. A follow-up visit will be scheduled about 2-3 weeks after the procedure.
Complications of hysteroscopy
A hysteroscopy is considered a fairly safe procedure with minimal complications; however, it still is considered surgery. Because of this, there are some possible complications (though they are not common). They include:
- Scarring of the uterus
- Occasional heavy bleeding
- A reaction to the fluid inside the uterus (used for distension)
- Side-effects due to anaesthesia
Please notify us in case of the following:
- Heavy bleeding
- Chills or severe pain