What is D&C procedure?
Dilation and Curettage (D&C) is a brief surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the uterine lining.
Why is Dilation and Curettage (D&C) done?
You may need a D&C or Dilation and curettage for:
- Remove tissue in the uterus during or after a miscarriage or abortion ot to remove small pieces of placenta after childbirth. This helps to prevent infection or heavy bleeding.
- Diagnose or treat abnormal uterine bleeding. D&C may help diagnose or treat growths such as fibroids, polyps, or endometriosis, hormonal imbalance, or uterine cancer. A sample of uterine tissue is viewed under a microscope to check for abnormal cells.
What to expect when having a D&C?
You can have a D&C in your doctor’s chamber, or hospital. Before a D&C, you will have a complete history taken and sign a consent form. Ask your doctor any questions you have about the D&C. Always be sure to tell the doctor if:
- You suspect you are pregnant
- You are sensitive or allergic to any medications
- You have a history of bleeding disorders or are taking any blood-thinning drugs.
You will receive anaesthesia. The type of anaesthesia you will receive depends on the procedure you need.
- If you have general anaesthesia, you will not be awake during the procedure.
- If you have spinal or epidural (regional or local) anaesthesia, you will not have feeling from your waist down.
Before the D&C, you may need to remove clothing and put on a gown, and empty your bladder.
What happens during a D&C?
You lie on your back and place your legs in stirrups like during a pelvic exam. Then the doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina and holds the cervix in place with a clamp. Although the D&C involves no stitches or cuts, the doctor cleanses the cervix with an antiseptic solution.
A D&C procedure includes 2 main steps:
- Dilation: involves widening the opening of the lower part of the uterus (cervix) to allow insertion of an instrument. The doctor may insert a slender rod known as laminaria into the opening to gradually cause it to widen. Or medication may soften the cervix to help it widen.
- Curettage: involves a scraping the lining and removing uterine contenets with a long, spoon-shaped instrument known as curette. The doctor may also use a cannula to suction any remaining contents from the uterus. This can cause some cramping,. In many cases, a tissue sample goes to a lab for examination.
What happens after a D&C procedure?
After a D&C procedure patient may experience cramping and spotting or light bleeding. Don’t panic and contact your doctor without delay about such conditions.