Find out what hysteroscopy is, when it should be performed and what the possible complications are should be taken into account.
What is hysteroscopy?
Surgical hysteroscopy is performed to remove the abnormalities in the uterus that cause infertility or may lead to a miscarriage. These problems usually include:
- endometrial polyps,
- intrauterine adhesions,
- uterine septum,
- submucosal uterine fibroids
- other undesirable foreign bodies.
Hysteroscopy should be performed when the menstrual bleeding stops. The patient is under general anaesthesia. The endoscope is inserted to the uterus through the vagina, and the lesions are removed using electro-section or laser beam. The procedure is approximately several minutes long.
How to prepare for hysteroscopy?
As the procedure is performed in general anaesthesia, the patient should not eat for at least six hours prior to the hysteroscopy. However, the preparation is longer. For two to four weeks before the procedure, the patient receives hormonal therapy to reduce the thickness of the uterine wall, and the size of fibroids. The patient’s vagina should also be cleared of bacteria, e.g. with the use of intravaginal globules for a few days before the hysteroscopy.
Indications for the procedure
Hysteroscopy may be beneficial for women:
- suffering from infertility,
- with uterine malformation,
- with menstrual cycle disorders,
- with proliferative lesions in the uterus,
- with foreign bodies in the uterus: polyps, adhesions, fibroids, septa.
Recommendations after the procedure
Usually the patient is ready to leave the clinic already a few hours after the procedure. Every patient who has had a hysteroscopy should go to a follow-up visit with her doctor. What to avoid after hysteroscopy? Avoid intensive exercise and lifting heavy weights, as it may cause vaginal bleeding. Excision of pathological lesions may require antibiotic therapy.
Potential complications after the procedure
Hysteroscopy is a very safe procedure, but it may be associated with certain complications. They include:
- Injury of the cervix or uterine wall,
- thermal injuries due to the electricity used,
- complications associated with general anaesthesia.