Dilation and curettage procedure which is commonly referred to as D&C is a minor surgical procedure where the cervix is dilated while a special instrument is used for scraping out the lining of the uterus. It is important to know what you can expect before, after and during the process so that you can stay ahead of unnecessary worries and help the process to be smooth and fruitful.
When do doctors recommend dilation and curettage process?
You may be required to undergo the dilation and curettage procedure for one of many reasons. It can be used for removal of tissues in the uterus during or after an abortion or miscarriage or to remove little pieces of placenta after delivery. This process aids in preventing infection as well as heavy bleeding. On the other hand, it can help in diagnosing and treating abnormal uterine bleeding including polyps, fibroids, hormonal imbalances and even uterine cancer. A sample of the tissues in the uterus is tested under a microscope to check if there is any abnormal cell present.
What can you expect during the dilation and curettage process?
The D&C procedure is a minor one and takes about 15 minutes even though you will have to spend about 4 to 5 hours in the healthcare facility. Before the procedure, your doctor would check complete history, and at this point, you should tell your doctor if you suspect that you are pregnant, you are sensitive to latex or any medicines or if you have a history of bleeding disorders. You will then be given anesthesia so that you don’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Before this procedure, you will have to empty your bladder.
The D&C procedure comprises two main steps, dilation, and curettage.
Dilation involves opening of the lower part of the uterus or the cervix for allowing insertion of a slender rod. This is done to soften the cervix so that it opens and allows curettage to be performed. Curettage involves scraping of the lining and removal of the uterine contents with the help of a spoon-like instrument known as a curette. This may cause some amount of cramping, and a tissue sample would be taken out for examination in the laboratory.
After the completion of the procedure, you may experience slight bleeding and cramping. In some rare cases, adhesions or scar tissues may start forming inside the uterus, and this condition is termed as Asherman’s syndrome which can cause changes in the menstrual cycle along with infertility. This problem, if arises, can be solved with the help of surgery and therefore, you should report any abnormality in your menstrual cycle to your doctor. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!