CHRISTCHURCH WOMEN'S HOSPITAL
Gynaecology Services - Hysteroscopy
Outpatient Diagnostic Hysteroscopy
Your Doctor has suggested you have a hysteroscopy performed. This is an examination of the inside lining of your uterus (womb). This involves passing a small telescope (hysteroscope) through your cervix (neck of the womb) in order to be able to see inside.
No incision to the cervix or uterus is needed. As you are awake you may be able to see inside your womb through a camera being fitted over the outside end of the telescope.
Your Clinic visit will take approximately one hour.
The clinic is on the second floor of Christchurch Women’s Hospital. Ask for detailed directions from the main reception staff located on the Ground Floor of the hospital. You are welcome to bring a friend or support person.
Diagnostic Hysteroscopy is used to investigate the problems of abnormal periods or bleeding
How is Hysteroscopy Done?
Diagnostic hysteroscopy generally takes only a few minutes. The examination is performed with the woman lying in a similar position as for a cervical smear. A speculum is placed in the vagina to visualise the cervix.
The cervix can be anaesthetised with local anaesthetic to reduce discomfort.
The hysteroscope is then carefully passed through the opening of the cervix into the uterine cavity. Fluid is then used to separate the walls of the uterus, which normally touch each other. This improves the doctor’s view of the inside of the walls and the shape of the uterus (see diagram below).
The lining of the uterine cavity is examined and any abnormalities are noted before removing the hysteroscope. A tissue sample may be taken.
What should I expect after a Diagnostic Hysteroscopy?
Initially, blood stained fluid may drain from the vagina following the procedure. You can wait in the recovery area of the Clinic for about half an hour before getting dressed and leaving the Clinic.
A small amount of bleeding after the procedure is common and this should settle over a few days. Some women benefit from simple pain relief such as paracetamol for the first few hours.
What are the risks of Hysteroscopy
The risks for diagnostic hysteroscopy are extremely small. They include perforation of the uterus, (a small hole is unintentionally made in the uterus) which rarely requires treatment, and post-operative infection.
In addition to those mentioned above, there is a small risk of fluid imbalance if you absorbed a lot of the fluid used to distend the uterus. Should perforation occur, which is very rare, it is possible for organs near the uterus to be damaged. Heavier than normal bleeding can sometimes occur because of the tissue removed during the procedure.
Are there any reasons Hysteroscopy should not be performed?
What advice should I have Going Home?
The Doctor will discuss the findings of the procedure with you. Depending on what is seen during your examination, the Doctor may recommend you have additional surgical procedures under an alternative form of anaesthetic at another time. If the procedure was done to investigate or treat abnormal bleeding and no future appointments are likely to be required, you will be referred back to your Doctor.
If the Doctor is awaiting results from tissue samples taken during the procedure, you will either receive a letter with the results or another appointment to discuss results.
At home you can undertake normal activities. You should however avoid baths, swimming pools, using tampons and intercourse for ten days after the procedure to reduce the risk of developing an infection. A shower does not increase your risk of infection.
Should you experience prolonged bleeding or have other concerns, please contact the Acute Gynaecology Assessment Unit at Christchurch Women’s Hospital on (03) 364 4805 or (03) 364 4699 and ask for the Acute Gynaecology Admissions Nurse.
Source Taken From W&CH/Ref/254