A dilation and curettage in Arizona involves dilating the uterine cervix so that the lining tissue of the uterus can be removed by scraping or suction. It is a safe diagnostic procedure that is performed for a variety of reasons, typically in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center or clinic.
A D&C is often performed as an add-on procedure to a hysteroscopy and/or polypectomy. It is often used for irregular or excessive bleeding caused by polyps, fibroids and endometrial cancer. It’s also planned as treatment when the source of the problem has already been determined, such as an incomplete miscarriage.
Preparing For Your Dilation and Curettage in Arizona
Depending on the type of anesthesia used, the doctor’s instructions before a D&C will most likely include the following:
• Avoid unnecessary drugs: A few days before your D&C, stop taking drugs such as aspirin, which can cause an increased risk of bleeding, and any over-the-counter medications, such as cold medication and laxatives.
• Substance Use: Avoid alcohol and tobacco use.
• Chronic conditions: The doctor will typically want the patient’s other medical problems stabilized prior to the surgery.
• Eating and drinking: The doctor will also instruct the patient not to eat or drink for 12 hours before the D&C if it is performed under general anesthesia or for 8 hours before a local or regional.
• Preliminary tests: On the day before or day of the procedure, the doctor may want to obtain certain routine blood, urine, and other tests to be sure no medical problems have been missed.
During Your Dilation and Curettage in Arizona
Step #1. While grasping the cervix with a clamp, the doctor will use a thin, flexible piece of metal to determine the depth and angle of the uterus. These measurements allow the doctor to determine how far into the uterus the curette can be safely inserted.This method takes about 10 minutes. If the patient is under local anesthesia, she may experience discomfort caused by stretching of the cervical muscles to accommodate the rods.
Step #2. After dilation, the doctor holds the vagina open again with the speculum and may also reach into the cervix with a tiny spoon to obtain a specimen of the lining. At this point, the scope is usually inserted into the uterus so that the doctor can look at the inside of the uterus. At that time, instruments may be inserted through the hysteroscope and biopsy, or removal, of the fibroids, polyps, or endometrial over growths may be completed.
Step #3. The doctor will then place a slightly longer and larger curette through the dilated cervix and up into the uterus. There is a metal loop on the end of the long, thin handle. With steady, gentle strokes, the doctor will scrape or suction the uterine wall and send the tissue to the lab for analysis. When the curettage is completed, the instruments are removed.
After the Dilation and Curettage in Arizona
The recovery time is typically short following a D&C. Cramps, similar to menstrual cramps, will probably be the patient’s strongest sensation immediately following the procedure. Although most women experience cramps for less than an hour, some women may have them accompanied by some light bleeding for a day or more.
The patient will most likely be placed in the recovery room immediately after the procedure and kept for an hour or until she is fully awake. The patient will need to arrange for a ride home.
It is suggested that the patient not drive for at least 24 hours after anesthesia. This is recommended even after a sedative/local anesthesia is used because the side effects of these drugs can temporarily impair the coordination and response time. Naproxen or ibuprofen are usually given for relief from cramping. Narcotics are seldomly, if ever, needed for the pain following the D&C.
If you are concerned about your upcoming dilation and curettage in Arizona or have more unanswered questions about the preparation, process or recovery details call our office today to schedule a consultation. We can answer your questions and put your mind at ease.