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Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about hysteroscopy. 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.
A hysteroscopy is a procedure that’s used to view the inside of your uterus (womb).
How is it done?
It’s done using a hysteroscope, which is a narrow tube with a light and camera at the end. Your doctor guides the instrument into your uterus via your vagina and cervix, so no incisions need to be made in your skin. The hysteroscope sends images to a monitor so your gynaecologist can look for any abnormalities in your uterus.
Why is it done?
A hysteroscopy is used to diagnose conditions such as fibroids and polyps (non-cancerous growths). It’s also a good way to investigate problems like heavy periods, unusual vaginal bleeding, postmenopausal bleeding, pelvic pain, repeated miscarriages or infertility.
Diagnostic hysteroscopy combined with biopsy is a highly accurate way to diagnose uterine cancer.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your gynaecologist can use the hysteroscopic technique to take samples of the tissue inside your uterus and to treat certain conditions. This is known as an operative hysteroscopy. Fine instruments can be inserted through channels in the hysteroscope and used to:
- Correct intrauterine adhesions (scar tissue)
- Remove fibroids or polyps
- Remove a displaced intra-uterine device (IUD)
- Remove or cauterise (burn) the lining of your womb (endometrial ablation)
- Release a blockage in your fallopian tubes that’s preventing conception
- Remove a congenital septum inside your uterus
- Investigate bleeding after childbirth
It’s different to colposcopy
Colposcopy is a similar procedure which your doctor can use to view and take biopsies from your vulva, vagina and cervix. Colposcopy doesn’t extend to the inside of your uterus.
Where is it done?
A simple diagnostic hysteroscopy may be done in your doctor’s rooms. An operative hysteroscopy (where your doctor performs a therapeutic procedure at the same time) is done in a day-stay clinic or hospital.
How long does it take?
It can take between 5 to 60 minutes, depending on whether other procedures are done at the same time.
Who is involved?
- A gynaecologist
- Possibly an assistant surgeon
- Possibly an anaesthetist
- Possibly a pathologist
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