Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to examine the inside of the uterus. Hysteroscopy is done by inserting a visualizing scope (hysteroscope) through the vagina and into the cervical opening. Hysteroscopy permits a view of the inside of the uterus, which also includes the openings to the Fallopian tubes, as well as a direct examination of the cervix, cervical canal, and vagina.
Hysterolaparoscopy is a practice performed with two telescopes, one is a hysteroscope, that is inserted into the cervix and the uterine cavity and the other one is a laparoscope which is inserted into the abdominal cavity via a small hole in the umbilicus. This procedure is performed under anesthesia and is generally diagnostic, however, occasionally it may be used for a short operative procedure as well.
A hysteroscopy may be done to:
Examine symptoms or problems: The procedure can be done to investigate the symptoms like:
Diagnose conditions: such as fibroids and polyps (non-cancerous growths in the womb)
Treatment of conditions: The procedure can be done to treat several conditions like removing fibroids, polyps, displaced intrauterine devices (IUDs) and intrauterine adhesions (scar tissue which can cause absent periods and decreased fertility)
The procedure usually takes between 5 and 30 minutes. During the procedure, you lie on a couch with your legs held in supports, a device is known as speculum may be inserted into your vagina to hold it open. Then, vagina and cervix are cleaned with the use of an antiseptic solution. A hysteroscope, which is a long, thin tube containing a light and camera is passed into your womb. You may feel a little cramping and discomfort when it passes through your cervix. Then, fluid or gas is gently pumped into your womb to make it possible for your doctor to observe inside. The camera provides images to a monitor so your doctor may spot any abnormalities. Sometimes, a sample of tissue from your womb lining may be taken for further testing. The process is known as an endometrial biopsy. If you're having a hysteroscopy for the treatment of certain conditions like fibroids or polyps, fine surgical devices can be passed along the hysteroscope. These may be used to cut or burn away the abnormal tissue.
A hysteroscopy is usually a safe procedure, but, like any procedure, there is a little risk of complications. The risk is greater for women who have the treatment during a hysteroscopy. Some of the risks related with a hysteroscopy are:
Damage to the womb: Rare, and it may require treatment with antibiotics or, in rare cases, another procedure to repair it
Damage to the cervix: This is rare and can be easily repaired
Excess bleeding during or after surgery: This may occur if you had treatment under general anesthetic and can be treated with medicines or another procedure; in very rare cases, it may be required to remove the womb (hysterectomy)
Infection of the womb: It may cause smelly vaginal discharge, heavy bleeding, and a fever and it can normally be treated with a short course of antibiotics.
Consultant - Laparoscopic & General Surgery
Senior Consultant - General & Laparoscopic Surgeon
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