When you are experiencing abnormal bleeding, the first step is to determine the cause. Dr. Silvers may recommend a hysteroscopy for this purpose. The procedure utilizes a narrow, lighted tube inserted through the vagina to visualize the cervix and interior of the uterus. Through this process, Dr. Silvers may be able to diagnose and treat the cause of your abnormal bleeding. He may also recommend a hysteroscopy for other reasons.

If you are scheduled for a hysteroscopy, rest assured Dr. Silvers and his staff will take every step to ensure your comfort throughout the process. This procedure is a valuable tool for both diagnosing and treating irregularities of the uterus and can be performed in Dr. Silvers’ office in most cases. More complex procedures may be done in an outpatient surgery center.

What is a Hysteroscopy?

A hysteroscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used for both diagnostic and operative purposes. In addition to examining the cervix and uterus, correction may be performed on the identified issues to prevent the need for a second appointment. A hysteroscopy does not involve incisions and can usually be performed under local anesthesia if any anesthesia is even necessary. Some women also request sedation to help them relax during the session. Complex procedures performed in a surgical center may be done under general anesthesia.

Why do I Need a Hysteroscopy?

When a hysteroscopy is done for diagnostic purposes, it may be recommended to detect the following:

  • Causes of abnormal bleeding
  • Reason for an abnormal pap smear result
  • The possibility of polyps or uterine fibroids
  • Cause of repeated miscarriages
  • Location of a migrated IUD
  • Reasons behind bleeding after menopause

Dr. Silvers may also remove a piece of endometrial tissue during a hysteroscopy for biopsy. Once a diagnosis is made, corrections can also be performed during the same procedure in many cases to avoid the need for a second appointment.

An operative hysteroscopy may involve:

  • Use of various techniques to prevent abnormal bleeding
  • Extraction of a tissue sample for biopsy
  • Removal of fibroid tumors or uterine polyps
  • Elimination of adhesions (bands of scar tissue within the uterus)
  • Nonsurgical sterilization through implants in the fallopian tubes

Preparing for Your Hysteroscopy

A hysteroscopy is frequently scheduled the week after your menstrual cycle since this is the time when Dr. Silvers can get an optimal view of the uterine lining. It is important to let Dr. Silvers know of any medications or supplements you regularly take before your procedure since some can affect the safety and success of your hysteroscopy. Dr. Silvers may recommend you stop taking these substances for a few days before and after the treatment to prevent possible complications.

Dr. Silvers will explain the procedure in detail, so you know what to expect. You will have the opportunity to ask questions as well. Anesthesia will be used to minimize any discomfort. You will also be advised to have someone drive you home from the procedure and remain with you for the day to ensure you do not experience any anesthesia-related side effects.

What to Expect During your Hysteroscopy

Before your hysteroscopy, Dr. Silvers will provide you with a medication to help you relax if requested, as well as anesthesia if it is going to be used. Once you are comfortable, he will insert the narrow tube through the vagina to examine the cervix and interior of the uterus. A liquid or gas is delivered into the area to expand the uterus and allow him to see the lining more clearly. This additional step ensures any potential irregularities can be easily detected during the procedure.

The probe, also known as the hysteroscope will project images onto a screen Dr. Silver can use to examine the cervix, openings to the fallopian tubes and endometrial lining. If Dr. Silvers will be taking a tissue sample for a biopsy, he can insert tools through the hysteroscope to do so. He can also use similar tools to remove fibroids, polyps or adhesions during the procedure. Depending on the complexity of the process, a hysteroscopy may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour to complete.

What Happens after a Hysteroscopy?

After your hysteroscopy, you may remain in our office for a brief time for observation. You can then head home to rest and recovery in familiar surroundings. Someone else will need to drive you home. However, you should not require any special care once you are there.

Women often experience some vaginal bleeding for the first day or two after a hysteroscopy, along with possibly a watery discharge. This is normal as a water solution was placed through the hysteroscope to help Dr. Silvers to visualize the inside of your uterus. This symptom is a normal side effect and not one that should cause you concern. Pain medication can be used during that first day to help you remain comfortable, however Motrin or Advil is usually all that is needed.

You will be able to return to your regular activities as soon as you feel ready, which is likely to be within a day or two. Dr. Silvers will ask you to refrain from douching, tampons or intercourse for two weeks to give the area ample time to heal completely.

A hysteroscopy can be a valuable tool for determining the cause of uterine irregularities and even treating them. To learn more about this procedure, contact Dr. Silvers’ office today at 305-535-9600.