Dilation and curettage is a brief surgical process which involves the dilation of the cervix and scraping of the uterine lining using a special tool which is known as the curettage. Also commonly known as D&C, this process is performed due to a lot of reasons and causes. The following is some more information about dilation and curettage:
Reasons to have D&C:
The following are some of the reasons why one may need to have a D&C procedure:
- The first reason for D&C is to remove the tissues in the uterus either during or after the miscarriage or abortion. It is done to remove the small pieces of placenta after the birth of the child. This helps to prevent heavy bleeding or infection.
- Another reason to do D&C is to diagnose or treat any kind of abnormal uterine bleeding. This procedure helps to treat the growth or of diagnose the growth of polyps, fibroids, hormonal imbalances, uterine cancer or endometriosis.
What to Expect While a D&C Procedure is Carried Out:
The D&C procedure takes a total of just 10 to 15 minutes and is generally carried out in a hospital, doctor’s clinic or an outpatient clinic. Eventhough the procedure in itself takes little time, one may have to stay in the clinic for upto 5 hours. The following are some of the other details:
- Before a D&C procedure is performed, the doctor may take the complete history of the patient and get a consent form signed by you.
- You must tell the doctor if you suspect that you are pregnant, sensitive to any allergy, sensitive to any medication or if you have a history of any bleeding disorders etc.
- While the procedure is going on, you will first receive an anesthesia, which is of three types. A general anesthesia makes a patient unconscious for the entire duration of the procedure, if the anesthesia is given on the spinal region, then the patient will have no feeling from waist down whereas in the case of a local anesthesia, the patient remains awake but the area around the cervix is numbed.
- Before the D&C procedure, you will be asked to remove your clothing, put on a gown and also empty your bladder completely.
- A D&C procedure results in no cuts or stitches as the doctor only cleanses the cervix with an antiseptic solution.
Dilation is the widening of the opening of the lower part of the uterus or cervix so that an instrument can be inserted inside. The doctor may insert a slender rod into the opening so as to widen it further. In some cases, medication is given to widen the opening.
Curettage is the process involved in scraping the lining and removing the contents of the uterine with a spoon shaped instrument which is known as a curette. Some of the common after effects of D&C include cramping, spotting and light bleeding. Further complications like a damaged cervix or a perforated uterus are rare but if they happen, you must contact your doctor immediately.