Dilation and curettage (D&C) :
Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. Doctors perform dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion. In a dilation and curettage — sometimes spelled "dilatation" and curettage — your doctor uses small instruments or a medication to open (dilate) your cervix — the lower, narrow part of your uterus. Your doctor then uses a surgical instrument called a curette to remove uterine tissue. Curettes used in a D&C can be sharp or use suction.
Why it's done?
Dilation and curettage can diagnose or treat a uterine condition.
To diagnose a condition :
Your doctor might recommend a type of D&C called endometrial sampling to diagnose a condition if:
To perform the test, your doctor collects a tissue sample from the lining of your uterus (endometrium) and sends the sample to a lab for testing. The test can check for:
Your doctor may perform the D&C along with another procedure called a hysteroscopy. During a hysteroscopy, your doctor inserts a slim instrument with a light and camera on the end into your vagina, through your cervix and up into your uterus.
Your doctor then views the lining of your uterus on a screen, noting any areas that look abnormal, making sure there aren't any polyps and taking tissue samples as needed. During a hysteroscopy, your doctor can also remove uterine polyps and fibroid tumors.
Risks :Dilation and curettage is usually very safe, and complications are rare. However, there are risks. These include:
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following after a D&C:
How you prepare :
Dilation and curettage may be performed in a hospital, clinic or your doctor's office, and it's usually done as an outpatient procedure.
Before the procedure:
In some cases, your doctor may start the process of dilating your cervix a few hours or even a day before the procedure. This helps your cervix open gradually and is usually done when your cervix needs to be dilated more than in a standard D&C, such as during pregnancy terminations or with certain types of hysteroscopy.
To promote dilation, your doctor uses a medication called misoprostol (Cytotec) — given orally or vaginally — to soften the cervix or inserts a slender rod made of laminaria into your cervix. The laminaria gradually expands by absorbing the fluid in your cervix, causing your cervix to open.