DNC surgery or dilation and curettage, is a procedure done on women for a few different reasons. It can diagnose or help treat heavy or abnormal periods that signal other cancerous or non-cancerous growths. It also may be performed on a woman who has just suffered a miscarriage during pregnancy.
Hormonal imbalances are often the most common cause of menstrual cycle abnormalities. However, unusual bleeding can be a sign of benign polyps or fibroid tumors. Both can cause cramping and bleeding. Fibroids can be detected and polyps can be removed during the procedure.
Women over the age of 40 may have DNC surgery to look for endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer effects over 35,000 women in this country every year. Hysterectomy is the most common approach to treat it. Those who have had an abortion or miscarriage have the procedure done to make sure that the contents of the uterus is completely empty.
Most of these procedures can be done in a hospital or gynecologist’s office under local anesthetic. The cervix is numbed through injection to prevent any pain or discomfort and the area surrounding the vagina is cleansed with antiseptic. It is important not to eat or drink before a DNC.
This procedure has a number of steps that a doctor must follow. First, the gynecologist notes any unusual changes in the reproductive organs. Then, a speculum is placed inside the vagina to allow the doctor to view the cervix. A clamp is used to keep the cervix in place. It is dilated with tapered rods that are put through the opening. A sharp edged loop or a vacuum device is placed into the uterus and scrapes or sucks the walls of the uterus. The lining that is removed is sent to a laboratory to be examined.
After surgery, a patient may experience a bit of nausea from the anesthesia. Some will also have mild cramps and a little bleeding for a few days. A patient will need to be accompanied home after the procedure is completed. A doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection from forming and also some pain medication to help deal with any discomfort. Sexual activity should not be done for two weeks and the next period may be late since it will take a bit of time for ovulation to return to normal.
With DNC surgery , some women may have a few complications. A doctor should be notified if a patient experiences dizziness, severe cramps and bleeding for longer than two weeks, a fever, or an odorous discharge.
DNC surgery involves the enlargement and scraping of a woman’s uterus in order to get samples of tissue for analysis. Today, it is relatively routine and safe as compared to having a complete hysterectomy which was the only solution in the past. This procedure is useful in finding the cause of irregular or heavy bleeding. With medical advances, some doctors are now using non-surgical treatments like hormone therapy and ultrasound instead. It is not usually performed on those with pelvic infections, clotting disorders, or other problems with the heart of lungs.