Hysteroscopy is the process of using a viewing scope to examine the interior of the uterus along with the cervical canal. The scope is inserted through the vagina and into the cervical opening. The procedure can be performed as an aid in the diagnosis of problems with the uterus, or it may be combined with simple surgical techniques for treatment purposes.
Since hysteroscopy examines the interior (lining) of the uterus, it is not appropriate for examination or diagnosis of problems or conditions that occur within the muscular wall or on the outside of the uterus. While hysteroscopy allows visualization of the openings to the Fallopian tubes to the uterine cavity, it does not allow for direct examination of the Fallopian tubes.
Hysteroscopy is one procedure that your doctor may consider for the evaluation and/or treatment of a number of different conditions, including abnormal vaginal bleeding, polyps or tumors inside the uterus, anatomic abnormalities, scarring following previous surgical procedures such as dilation and curettage (D&C), and retained placenta. It can also be used for surgical sterilization and to guide the physician to localize an area for endometrial (uterine lining) biopsy.
Hysteroscopy should not be attempted if a woman is pregnant or has an active pelvic infection. It should also not be performed in women who have uterine or cervical cancer. In addition, obstruction (stenosis) of the cervical opening may make it difficult or impossible to perform hysteroscopy.
Prior to the procedure, the doctor will usually perform a thorough physical examination, including a pelvic examination.
Depending upon the purpose of the hysteroscopy and the individual patient's health status, hysteroscopy may be performed in the office or an outpatient surgery department. In most procedures performed in a clinic, no special preparation is necessary. Less commonly, hysteroscopy may be performed in the operating room, especially when it is combined with surgical procedures. The doctor will advise the patient regarding preparation for surgery and the need for anesthesia before such procedures are performed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2015
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