While modern medicine has many great ways to see what’s going on inside your body with advanced imaging equipment, sometimes it’s necessary to get a closer look. Typically, this meant invasive surgery, but modern science stepped up once again with tools that can take a quick peek at your insides without causing any collateral damage to the outside.
A hysteroscopy is one such technique. In order to examine your reproductive organs up close, namely your uterus, the team of highly-trained physicians at Associates in Women’s Health offers the EndoSee® for in-office diagnostic testing and treatment of uterine issues in their patients in Cincinnati, Ohio.
To address any apprehension you may have about a hysteroscopy, we’ve pulled together most everything you should know about the procedure — before, during, and after.
Why you need a hysteroscopy
Many of our patients come to us with symptoms like heavy bleeding, pain, frequent miscarriages, and infertility. While each has its own set of indicators and tests, which we perform routinely, there may come a point when your doctor decides that it’s time to really see what going on inside your uterus.
At that point, the doctor discusses a hysteroscopy with you and gives you a full rundown of what she hopes to gain by examining your uterus. The goal of a hysteroscopy is twofold. The first is to use a tiny camera to examine the inside of your uterus, looking for potential problems, such as adhesions, structural problems, or an IUD that has moved, to name just a few.
The second goal is to rectify any problems the doctor may see during the exam.
There’s nothing you need to do to prepare in advance of the procedure, which is performed right in our office here in Cincinnati.
When you come in for your hysteroscopy, you’ll be made comfortable in one of our sterile examination rooms. If you’re feeling any anxiety about the procedure, the doctor may give you something to ease your nerves. Rest assured, the procedure is painless and lasts only minutes.
Once you’re comfortable, the doctor inserts the EndoSee device into your vagina and threads it through your cervix to gain access to your uterus. The tiny instrument, which features a light and a camera for both still images and video, is attached to a flexible tube that’s only 5mm (less than ¼ inch) in diameter.
After inserting the hysteroscope, the doctor injects saline through to dilate your cervix and uterus so she can see the area more clearly. Using the light, the doctor guides the camera around your uterus, watching the images on a video monitor.
At this point, and depending upon what she sees, the doctor may take some tissue for a biopsy, remove any scarring or adhesions she finds, retrieve your IUD, or whatever else might be called for. The doctor may also simply end the procedure after getting the images she needs.
Thanks to the speed and clarity of the EndoSee equipment, a hysteroscopy is often no more time-consuming than a typical pelvic exam.
If your hysteroscopy was for diagnostic purposes only, you can leave the office and return to your normal activities straight away. If the doctor removes any tissue from your uterus, you may feel some cramping afterward and have some minor spotting, but it shouldn’t impact the rest of your day too greatly.
After your visit, the doctor follows up with you to review what she saw and any results she may have from a biopsy. At this point, you discuss next steps.
If you still have questions about a hysteroscopy, please call us, or use the online scheduling tool on this website to schedule a consultation.