Menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause are all unique health conditions that affect women because of their reproductive organs. Though noninvasive techniques are preferred when it comes to managing and diagnosing health conditions in women, surgical procedures are sometimes necessary.
Dilation and curettage, or D&C, is a procedure that helps diagnose and treats conditions that affect a woman’s uterus. At Eve Medical of Miami, our team of skilled providers perform D&Cs in the office to address many health concerns.
We want to share some of the reasons we may recommend a D&C so you understand the role it plays in improving your health.
About dilation and curettage
The purpose of a D&C is to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the uterus. During the procedure, we first open your cervix (dilate) and then insert a special instrument to remove abnormal tissue from your uterus (curettage).
Our women’s health experts perform D&Cs at the office using anesthesia and ultrasound-guided imaging.
Why you may need a dilation and curettage
There are many reasons you may need and D&C. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the procedure is often performed to diagnose and treat abnormal bleeding.
For women’s health, the D&C may also:
- Diagnose cervical, uterine, or endometrial cancer
- Check for endometrial hyperplasia (precancerous tissue)
- Look for uterine polyps
- Assist in finding the cause of infertility
- Remove any placenta that may remain after childbirth
The D&C is also used to clear out any tissue remaining in your uterus after a miscarriage or abortion to prevent infection.
The procedure may also be performed if you have a molar pregnancy, which is when a nonviable fertilized egg implants itself in your uterus. We may also perform a D&C for a first-trimester surgical abortion.
What to expect during the procedure
The specifics of your D&C may depend on the reason for the procedure. We usually start the dilation process with medication a few hours before your surgery.
You lie on an exam table and place your heels in stirrups, and then we administer the anesthesia. We insert a speculum to separate your vaginal walls. Then, using a curette (spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge) or suction, we remove the tissue from your uterus.
The entire procedure usually takes only 15 minutes.
After your D&C, we monitor you in our recovery area for a few hours, then you’ll need to have someone drive you home.
Recovering from a dilation and curettage
You should be able to resume most of your usual activities within a day or two after your D&C.
You may experience spotting and cramping after the procedure. We recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease discomfort and menstrual pads for spotting.
We also recommend you not use tampons and refrain from intercourse following your D&C to prevent infection. We’ll let you know when it’s safe to resume your usual practices after your follow-up appointment.
From diagnosing serious health conditions to preventing infection, dilation and curettage is a necessary procedure that benefits many women.
For expert women’s health care from an experienced team, contact our office in Miami, Florida, by phone or online.