Women’s specialists: what are dilation and curettage?
Top women’s specialists in Atlanta and Alpharetta GA can perform a procedure known as a dilation and curettage, also known as a D&C, this is a minor surgery that involves opening or dilating the cervix. After dilating the cervix, the doctor uses an object called a curette to remove tissue from the lining of the uterus.
This procedure can take place at a women’s health clinic, doctor’s office, a hospital, or day surgery clinic.
Why a D&C is done
Your doctor may perform a D&C to assess the cause of any abnormal bleeding. The procedure provides a tissue sample from the uterus. The sample can then be viewed by a microscope to see whether there are any cells that are abnormal. The procedure can also be done when a patient is experiencing a miscarriage or has had one. Tissues from the pregnancy may still be in the uterus in these cases. A D&C is done to remove this tissue, which is important because the tissue may result in an infection or heavy bleeding.
What are the risks?
During the procedure, complications may arise, these risks include infection, bleeding, or perforation of the uterus, this is when the tip of an instrument will pass through the uterus wall. Problems can also occur that are related to the anesthesia that is used. These complications are rare.
After a D&C is performed after a miscarriage, in rare cases bands of scar tissues may form in the uterus. This is known as Asherman syndrome. These scar tissues are known as adhesions and they can cause changes in menstrual flow and infertility. Luckily, Asherman syndrome can often be treated with surgery.
Recovery after the procedure
After a D&C procedure, you will need to have someone else take you home. You may feel groggy for a while if you had general anesthesia and have some brief vomiting and nausea. You can start regular activities after a day or two. You should ask your doctor about any restrictions that are needed. There may be some slight cramping and light spotting for a few days afterward. This is normal. You may want to consider wearing a sanitary pad for spotting and take pain relievers.
There may also be a change to the timing of your next menstrual period. It may come either later or earlier than normal. You should delay sex and using tampons to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus until the doctor says it is ok.
You should see your doctor for a follow-up and to schedule any further treatment if necessary. You can also ask your doctor when to expect any results if any tissue was sent for a biopsy. This will usually be available within several days.
Best women’s specialists in Atlanta and Alpharetta GA
The women’s specialists say that it is normal to feel tired after the procedure. You should also move around as soon as possible, even if it feels uncomfortable. This will help to prevent any blood clots from forming in the legs and keep your muscles strong.
Contact your top Alpharetta and Atlanta OBGYN for your obstetrics and gynecology care.