Hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the uterus. It is performed using a hysteroscope, a narrow tube with a telescope at the end. We use this procedure either using a local anaesthetic during an outpatient operation, or as a day-case under general anaesthetic.
There are two types of hysteroscopy:
Diagnostic hysteroscopy is used to look for any abnormalities in the uterus in order to find the cause of any problems such as:
- heavy or irregular periods
- pelvic pain
- unusual vaginal discharge
Hysteroscopy is described as operative when it involves an additional procedure, such as a biopsy or treatment.
If an abnormality is suspected when viewing the inside of the uterus, a small sample of tissue, called a biopsy, may be taken to be examined under microscope.
If a medical condition, such as a polyp (projecting mass of overgrown tissue) is seen, it may be treated at the same time as the hysteroscopy.
The most common treatments carried out during a hysteroscopy include the removal of:
- adhesions and scar tissue in the uterus
- fibroids (non-cancerous growths) in the uterus
- a lost or stuck contraceptive device
A contraceptive device can also be fitted during a hysteroscopy.
If we think it might become necessary to treat a condition or take a biopsy during hysteroscopy, we will discuss this with the patient in advance, and seek consent before the procedure.