A hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your doctor to see inside your womb (uterus) using a thin telescopic camera. It can be used to investigate, diagnose and sometimes treat problems with a woman’s reproductive system.
What is a Hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy, also known as an endoscopic uterus examination, uses an endoscope to see images of your womb on a monitor. An endoscope is a long, thin tube a camera and light source at one end. A hysteroscope is a type of endoscope that is used specifically to look inside your womb. It is passed into your womb through your vagina and cervix without any incisions.
A hysteroscopy is used to investigate the cause of many problems including:
• Abnormal bleeding such as heavy periods, unusual vaginal bleeding and postmenopausal bleeding.
• Pelvic pain.
• Polyps (small growths of tissue) and some types of fibroids (non-cancerous growths of muscle). These may be treated during your hysteroscopy.
• Difficulty getting pregnant and repeated miscarriages.
• An intra-uterine system (IUS) or coil that has moved out of place. These can be removed during your hysteroscopy.
• Scar tissue in the lining of your womb that may be causing missed periods or reduced fertility. This can be treated during your hysteroscopy.
What does a Hysteroscopy surgery involve?
A hysteroscopy can be performed as an outpatient or day case procedure under local or general anaesthetic, or without any anaesthetic. General anaesthetic may be used if you are having treatment, such as fibroid removal, or if you would prefer to be asleep while your procedure is carried out.
It can take five to thirty minutes, depending on if it is diagnostic or operative. Typically, diagnostic hysteroscopy takes less time than operative.
Your doctor may insert an instrument called a speculum into your vagina to hold it open, the same as for a cervical screening test. A hysteroscope is passed into your womb through your vagina and cervix. Fluid or gas is gently pumped into your womb to inflate it and make it easier for your doctor to see inside.
After your doctor inspects your womb they will take pictures. They may then proceed with any appropriate intervention. If required, a small sample of tissue from your womb lining may be removed for further testing, known as an endometrial biopsy. If you have a biopsy you will be advised when and how you will receive your results.
If you are having treatment for fibroids or polyps fine surgical instruments will be passed along the hysteroscope and used to cut or burn away the abnormal tissue.
Recovering from Hysteroscopy
Hysteroscopy is minor surgery and you should be able to go home the same day.
If you’ve had a hysteroscopy without anaesthetic or local anaesthetic, you should be able to go back to your usual activities the same day.
If you’ve had a general anaesthetic and treatment you will need someone to take you home and it will you may wish to have a few days off work to rest.
You should avoid having sex for a week or until any bleeding stops to help reduce the risk of infection.
Your doctor will be able to advise you about what you can and cannot do.
You may have some normal side effects of a hysteroscopy such as cramping and spotting or bleeding. These can last up to a week or more but should then pass.
What complications can happen after a Hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is a relatively safe procedure. However, as with any type of surgery, there is the possibility of a complication occurring such as: anaesthetic risks, infection, heavy bleeding, an injury to your cervix, uterus, bowel or bladder and, intrauterine scarring.
Hysteroscopy with Tees Valley Hospital
Hysteroscopy is regularly performed at Tees Valley Hospital by our experienced surgeons who ensure all patients receive a high level of compassionate care.
Our patients benefit from the new facilities at Tees Valley Hospital including a dedicated endoscopy suite and patient pods. We also offer patients peace of mind with our competitive guide package price.
We endeavour to provide rapid access to hysteroscopy procedures to give you a fast diagnosis and treatment so that you can then get on with enjoying your everyday activities.