Dilation and curettage is a surgical procedure that’s also referred to as D&C. The cervix is dilated or opened, and a thin instrument is placed into the uterus to remove tissue. This procedure can be done in a hospital or doctor’s office.
Why Do I Need a D&C?
If your doctor recommends dilation and curettage, then you may be experiencing problems related to the uterus. This procedure is done to help treat conditions like abnormal bleeding or after a miscarriage. The tissue removed will be viewed under a microscope to look for abnormal cells that help your doctor determine an accurate diagnosis.
What Should I Expect During My D&C?
You may begin dilating before the procedure using a luminaria. This is a rod that’s inserted into the cervix several hours beforehand. It absorbs fluid and expands to open the cervix. Medication may also be taken to soften the tissue.
During your D&C, you will lay on your back with legs in stirrups. A speculum is inserted, and a series of slender rods are added to gradually enlarge your cervical opening. This is usually done to under half an inch. Suction or a curette are used to remove tissue from the uterus that’s sent to a lab for examination.
You should be able to go home after a few hours. Your gynecologist will advise you to have someone else there to drive. Most women can resume their normal activities after just a day or two. If you have questions about dilation and curettage, contact your Women’s Health and Menopause Center OBGYN to learn more or to schedule an appointment.