Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about dilation and curettage (D&C). Learn how the procedure is done, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
To see how this procedure is done, view our animation below. For personal insights, see our patient experience videos, in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, their procedure and their recovery.
What is a dilation and curettage?
D&C is a procedure where the cervix (opening of the womb) is dilated to sample and/or remove tissue from inside your uterus (womb). There are 2 common reasons you may have a D&C: 1) Diagnostic – to identify an underlying problem, or 2) Therapeutic – to treat a problem.
How is it done?
Your surgeon first dilates your cervix and then uses a spoon-shaped instrument called a curette to get some soft tissue from the lining of your uterus. Sometimes your surgeon may use a suction instrument to remove tissue instead. The tissue is then usually sent away to be examined by a pathologist under the microscope.
Why is it done?
D&C is used to diagnose conditions such as heavy periods, unusual vaginal bleeding, postmenopausal bleeding, pelvic pain, a suspicion of cancer, repeated miscarriages or infertility.
Your surgeon may do a D&C or suction curette after an incomplete miscarriage, termination of pregnancy, or after childbirth.
It’s different to hysteroscopy or hysterectomy
Hysteroscopy – an instrument with a light and camera is used to see the inside of your uterus and look for any abnormalities. Your surgeon can then either sample or remove any abnormal tissue. Hysteroscopy and D&C can be performed together.
Hysterectomy is surgery to remove your uterus or womb.
Where is it done?
D&C is normally done in a clinic or hospital.
How long does it take?
It usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
Who is involved?
- possibly an assistant surgeon
- possibly an anaesthetist
- possibly a pathologist.
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