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Dilation and Curettage (D&C) (cont.)

Dilation and Curettage Preparation

Depending on the type of anesthesia used, the doctor's instructions before a D&C will most likely include the following:

  • Avoid unnecessary drugs: A few days before your D&C, stop taking drugs such as aspirin, which can cause increased risk of bleeding, and any over-the-counter medications, such as cold medication and laxatives. Avoid alcohol and tobacco use. Many surgeons now recommend the patient stop taking any herbal supplements at least two weeks before surgery. Talk with the doctor about all medications you take.
  • Chronic conditions: The doctor will most likely want the patient's other medical problems stabilized prior to the surgery. For example, if the patient has uncontrolled high blood pressure, she may be put on a strict treatment plan in or out of the hospital to improve blood pressure. This is important to avoid any unnecessary complications during the D&C procedure.
  • Eating and drinking: The doctor will also instruct the patient not to eat or drink for 12 hours before your D&C if it is done under general anesthesia (the patient is completely asleep), or for 8 hours before a local or regional (for example, spinal anesthesia, just the lower portion of your body is numbed and you have no feeling) is used.
  • Preliminary tests: On the day before or day of the procedure, the doctor may want to obtain certain routine blood, urine, and other tests to be sure no medical problems have been missed.

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