A hysteroscope enables your surgeon to evaluate the interior of the cervix and uterus to assess the lining of these structures. Therapeutic maneuvers, such as taking a tissue sample (biopsy), removing polyps or fibroid tumors, removing adhesions or scar tissue, or preventing bleeding with cautery (destruction of tissue by electric current, freezing, heat, or chemicals) may be performed during a hysteroscopy procedure (see endometrial ablation).
Diagnostic hysteroscopy is used for evaluation and is usually performed in a physician’s office or in an outpatient facility with local or no anesthesia required. More invasive hysteroscopy procedures, often to treat conditions may also be performed in an operating room under local, regional, or general anesthesia.
During a diagnostic hysteroscopy a physician evaluates the uterine cavity (lining of the uterus) using a very thin, lighted, flexible tube containing a video camera called a hysteroscope. The hysteroscope is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. The hysteroscope is Inserted through the vagina. The uterus is filled with fluid so the uterine cavity can be visualized.
This procedure typically takes only a few minutes. Patients can experience some cramping during the procedure. Taking ibuprofen before the procedure can help reduce the cramping and once the procedure is completed, the cramping usually goes away.
An operative hysteroscopy can be done in the physician’s office or in the operating room with anesthesia. A thin, stiff tube containing a video camera is inserted through the vagina into the cervix and uterus.
Operative hysteroscopy can be used to treat some fibroids, endometrial polyps, adhesions (scar tissue), a uterine septum, or retained tissue from a prior pregnancy. Endometrial ablation can also be performed through an operative hysteroscopy.
Reasons to recommend a hysteroscopy
Hysteroscopy may be performed in women who have abnormal bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding. It may be used to help diagnose causes of infertility or repeated miscarriages. Hysteroscopy may also be used to evaluate uterine adhesions (Asherman’s syndrome), polyps, and fibroids, and to locate and remove displaced intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Therapeutically, hysteroscopy may be used to help correct uterine problems. For example, some fibroids, polyps, uterine septums or adhesions may be removed through the hysteroscope, often eliminating the need for more invasive surgery. Endometrial biopsy or ablation (removal of the endometrial lining) may be performed via hysteroscopy.