Dilatation & Curettage (D & C)

WOMB SCRUBBING

EVACUATION OF THE UTERUS
Opening the cervix and removing the lining (endometrium) and contents of the uterus. The D & C is often both a diagnostic and a therapeutic procedure.

REASON FOR PROCEDURE

  • Diagnosis of abnormal bleeding or possible cancer inside the uterus.
  • Incomplete spontaneous miscarriage.
  • Treatment of minor diseases of the uterus.
  • Elective abortion during early pregnancy.
  • Removal of membranes and placenta after childbirth in cases where they fail to delivery spontaneously.

RISK INCREASES WITH

  • Obesity.
  • Smoking.
  • Cervical infection or ongoing uterine infection.
  • Excess alcohol consumption.
  • Recent or chronic illness, including anemia, diabetes mellitus, and heart or lung disease.
  • Use of drugs, such as antihypertensives; cortisone; diuretics; or insulin.
  • Use of mind-altering drugs, including narcotics; psychedelics; hallucinogens; marijuana; sedatives; hypnotics; or cocaine.

DESCRIPTION OF PROCEDURE

  • It is normally performed in a hospital or a surgery center.
  • A general anesthetic, local anesthetic, or both will be administered.
  • The vagina is cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
  • The cervix is carefully opened with dilators, and a curette is inserted into the uterus. The curette can be a suction device or a looped knife.
  • The curette is used to scrape the endometrium from the uterine wall. The tissue may be removed for examination and diagnosis, or for treatment of heavy or irregular uterine bleeding.
  • Occasionally, ultrasound can be used for guidance for the instruments.
  • The instruments are removed.

EXPECTED OUTCOME

Tissue obtained successfully without complications in virtually all cases. Allow about 4 to 6 weeks for recovery from surgery.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

  • Surgical-wound infection.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Inadvertent injury to the uterus.

POSTPROCEDURE CARE
GENERAL MEASURES

  • Don’t douche unless your physician recommends it.
  • Wear cotton underpants and pantyhose with a cotton crotch. Avoid underpants made from nylon, polyester, silk or other non-ventilating materials.
  • Expect slight vaginal bleeding during recovery from surgery. Use a sanitary pad to protect clothing.
  • Avoid tampons temporarily; they may lead to infection.

ACTIVITY

  • Resume driving in 1 or 2 days.
  • To help recovery and aid your well-being, resume daily activities, including work, as soon as you are able.
  • Resume sexual relations when spotting ceases.

DIET
No special diet.