Commonly referred to as DNC surgery, Dilation and Curettage is a uterine procedure done on a diagnostic basis. Many conditions within the uterus are benefited by the use of this procedure. Being invasive, a high level of care must be adhered to, to limit any complications that can result into serious problems if overlooked. Alternative treatments are available in place of D&C for some conditions. Speaking with your health care professional will help you devise the best plan of action for your specific case.
There are a couple of steps to a D&C procedure. The first step is to dilate the woman’s cervix by using dilation rods to stretch it open mechanically. One after another the rods become larger until the cervix has dilated the the appropriate size. This is followed by the curettage process which is done with the use of a tool called the curette. The curette is tool with a long metal handle and a small scoop at the tip.
D & C as a means of treatment or diagnosis has been useful for a number of uterine conditions. Dilation and Curettage has been used to remove any residual pieces of the placenta that has not naturally exited the uterus. It is also used in the case of postpartum hemorrhage. A number of pregnancy conditions and complications have been treated using this procedure, such as miscarriage, and elective abortion. The diagnosis of cancer and the removal of polyps have been successfully treated as well.
During the procedure the patient is put under heavy sedation. The gynecologist then begins dilation followed by curettage. The doctor may choose to use an ultrasound or hysteroscope to get better visualization of the area being operated on. Once this process is finished the patient is watched closely for any adverse signs.
Because this is a procedure in which the surgeon is unable to see the area being treated the risk level is increased. With blind surgery, complications such as excessive scrapping of the uterine walls can cause scarring known as Asherman’s Syndrome, which may lead to fertility problems. Asherman’s Syndrome is more likely to happen when a sharp curettage is used instead of a blunt curette or suction. Infection can also occur if proper precautions aren’t taken.
After the procedure, you should keep a close eye for any changes you may feel. Be aware of any pain you may be feeling, as well as any abnormal bleeding, whether the duration is shorter or longer. It is also a good idea to note any changes in the color. You will have a follow up with your doctor where you will be able to discuss how you are feeling to make sure you are recovering properly.
There may be alternative treatments available depending on what your condition is. Many woman opt to use an alternative treatment to elective abortion since less invasive options became available. Your doctor will be able to give you more information so you can make an informed decision as to your choice in care.
Undergoing any kind of procedure can be a scary thing to go through. DNC surgery does not differ, but by being informed and having an open dialogue with your gynecologist you will be able to find some comfort.
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