Dilation and curettage

Dilation and curettage (D&C)

When is Dilation and curettage (D&C) needed?

Curettage is a routine and safe procedure, it’s needed when an abnormal bleeding occurs between periods and the cause is unknown. The bleeding can be caused by hormonal imbalances, benign or even malignant tumors. These are important issues to discover and treat in time.

The surgery can be diagnostic or therapeutic: When it is done for a diagnosis, the doctor takes a tissue sample from the endometrium (the mucous membrane of the uterus) to examine the exact cause of the problems. When the cause is already known, or a surgery is necessary (for ex: to stop the bleeding) the doctor removes the endometrium. Even in the latter case the tissue is sent to histological examination.

How does the procedure go?

After the necessary examinations (blood work, ECG, consultation) the procedure is done as an outpatient surgery.

The doctor either chooses general or local anesthesia for managing the pain.

First the surgeon sterilize the vagina with an antibacterial solution, then dilates the cervix to make sure there’s no harm caused in it while getting into the uterus. After the preparations they scrape the uterine lining with a special instrument. The tissue is sent to histology to make sure there are no malignant cells involved.

What are the risks of the operation?

There are some risks involved with the operation but these are minor and can be treated in the hospital immediately:

  • You can be allergic to the medications used to the anesthesia
  • There can be a pelvic inflammation developed but these can be treated well with antibiotics
  • In extreme rare cases the wall of the uterus can be injured in which cases another surgery is needed

However it holds more risk not to undergo the surgery as the illnesses causing the symptoms can worsen and can become life threatening