Dilation and curettage surgery is done to detect any abnormalities in the tissues inside uterus. It also enables detection of uterine cancer, polyps, fibroids and hormonal imbalances. Dilation and curettage is also done after a miscarriage or an abortion. This procedure, in majority cases, is done as supplementary to the hysterectomy surgery.
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It is necessary to curb intake of laxatives, herbal supplements, over-the-counter drugs few days before the surgery. The doctor also needs to be informed about the medications the patient is on, prior to the surgery and also if the medication contains any blood-thinning drugs. Be sure to inform the doctor about your pregnancy and also the drugs your body is allergic to.
The patient is instructed to be on an empty stomach, depending upon the type of the anesthetic to be administered to her. If it is general anesthesia which would be given, then the time is 12 hours for which the patient should be fasting for. On the other hand, if it is a local anesthesia, then 8 hours is the prescribed time for being on an empty stomach.
The surgery commences with the doctor inserting an instrument called speculum into the vagina to examine the cervix. Inserting of a long thin rod in the vaginal opening causes the cervix to widen. This step is known as dilation.
Dilation is followed by curettage. Curettage involves scraping the lining of uterine wall. The scraping is carried out using a curette, which is a long thin structure with a metal loop; generally in the shape of a spoon. The tissues thus removed through scraping are sent to a laboratory for studies. The dilation and curettage surgery procedure typically lasts for over 20-30 minutes.
The patient may experience light bleeding post surgery which may go on for a few days. Usage of sanitary pads during bouts of bleeding is advisable. For alleviation of pain resulting from cramps, the doctor may prescribe a drug called Ibuprofen. Brief bouts of vomiting or a nauseatic feeling in the recovery period are normal and not cause of major worry.