Hysteroscopy for Intrauterine Defect
A hysteroscope is a small metal tube connected to a light source and camera. It magnifies the cervical opening, uterine cavity, and the openings of the fallopian tubes during a procedure called hysteroscopy.
Hysteroscopy may be:
diagnostic, in which case it is only used to view the organs and observe any obvious abnormalities
therapeutic, in which case surgery is done through the scope
It can be:
used to find and sometimes treat suspected defects in the uterus
combined with dilatation and curettage (D & C) or laparoscopy to evaluate and sometimes treat infertility or other gynecological problems
Who is a candidate for the procedure?
Hysteroscopy may be recommended to evaluate a woman's infertility. Often it is done after a test called a hysterosalpingogram picks up possible defects in the uterus. It may also be done if the following conditions are suspected:
uterine polyps, or non-cancerous tumors
fibroids, which are growths in the uterus that are non-cancerous
a wall, or septum, dividing the uterus
an abnormally shaped uterus
fetal tissue remaining after a miscarriage or abortion
a lost IUD, or intra-uterine device
scarring on the lining of the uterus, known as Asherman's syndrome
How is the procedure performed?
For 1 to 2 months beforehand, a woman may be given medications to block the build-up of the uterine lining. This makes it easier to view the inside of the uterus.
A hysteroscopy is usually done in the first 2 weeks of a woman's menstrual cycle. This ensures she is not pregnant. It takes about 20 to 45 minutes and can be done:
in an office under local anesthesia
in the hospital under general anesthesia if combined with a D & C or laparoscopy
First, the cervix and vagina are cleansed. The cervix is opened so that the scope can be inserted into the uterus. The uterus is inflated with fluid or a harmless gas to make it easier to view.
Any suspicious lesions may be biopsied or removed using small tools placed in the scope. This tissue is sent for microscopic analysis. Pictures may be taken with a special camera before and after any surgery is done.