Hysteroscopy is a procedure that involves inserting a hysteroscope, a tube with a light and camera, into the uterus through the cervix to view the inside cavity of the uterus (endometrial cavity). A hysteroscopy can be either diagnostic or operative in our AAAASF-accredited surgical suite at the Frisco Institute for Reproductive Medicine. A diagnostic hysteroscopy allows our board-certified reproductive endocrinologists to assess the size, shape, and lining (endometrium) of the uterus. This procedure is performed to find abnormalities that may affect a woman’s fertility or cause other gynecological issues.
Once the hysteroscope is guided into the uterus, your doctor will fill the uterus with saline to inflate and enlarge the uterus to provide a better view of the endometrium. The feed from the camera on the hysteroscope is transmitted to a TV monitor in the operating room, which our surgeon views while manipulating the hysteroscope. The surgeon may decide to correct the identified problem when it is found, so the diagnostic hysteroscopy becomes an operative hysteroscopy. Small tools are inserted through the hysteroscope to correct such problems as adhesions (scar tissue), fibroids polyps, and uterine septum. A hysteroscopy is traditionally an outpatient procedure, meaning that an overnight hospital stay is not normally required.
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If you need a hysteroscopy, we will do our best to make you comfortable during the testing. A hysteroscopy can be performed by using a sedative, to make you more relaxed during the procedure, or can be done under general anesthesia. If general anesthesia is used, you must not eat or drink for at least 8 hours before the surgery. You will need to have an empty bladder as well. We will ask you to wear a hospital gown and lie face up on the examination table. Your feet will be supported in stirrups. Your doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina for better visibility of the cervix. Then, your doctor will guide the hysteroscope into the vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus (inflated with liquid). Once inside, the doctor can use the hysteroscope to view and repair any issues found in the reproductive organs by using special surgical instruments inserted through the hysteroscope. After the procedure, you will be monitored for a couple of hours in a private recovery room. You will need someone to drive you home to be discharged.
What to Expect
A hysteroscopy procedure is used to diagnose causes of uterine issues, many of which can cause infertility. Physicians may recommend a hysteroscopy to evaluate:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Recurrent miscarriage
- Abnormally shaped uterus
- Uterine fibroids and polyps
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Septums, a congenital abnormality causing a wall of tissue within the uterine cavity that can lead to miscarriage
A hysteroscopy should only be performed on women who are not pregnant and are not menstruating. Performing the hysteroscopy on days 6 – 10 (after menstruation but before ovulation) of the menstrual cycle can help to ensure the patient is not pregnant. It is possible to remove polyps, cysts, small fibroids, scar tissue and certain congenital defects. The fibroid seen inside the cavity of the uterus can be removed without an incision by using instruments placed through the cervix. The operative site should heal rapidly.
Risks & Benefits
Complications from a hysteroscopy are rare, only about 2 percent of hysteroscopy patients have complications from the procedure. Risks include infection, excessive bleeding, a reaction to the liquid used to expand the uterus, a perforated uterus, or complications from anesthesia (vomiting, nausea, headache, allergic reaction, lung infection). Common side effects of a hysteroscopy are:
- Bloating from the liquid used to expand the uterus
- Various vaginal bleeding, ranging from light spotting to menstrual-like flow
The benefits of having a hysteroscopy are a shorter hospital stay, less pain medication needed during recovery, no incisions to heal, and may allow patients to avoid hysterectomy and open abdominal surgery.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 1 Day
- Average Procedure Time
- 1 Hour
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1 Day
- Procedure Recovery Location
Schedule Your Appointment
We can provide you with a diagnostic or operative hysteroscopy at FIRM in Frisco, Dallas, or McKinney, TX. Call and schedule an appointment today for a confidential consultation. We also accept referrals from your primary care physician. It is our goal to help you find answers, get the treatment needed, and improve your chances at achieving pregnancy.