Dilation and curettage, referred to as a D&C, is a gynecological procedure that is used to remove the lining inside the uterus. Drs. Peter Weiss, Rebecca Brown, Kathleen Valenton, Jennifer Chen, and Quy Nguyen, at Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Center, can perform a D&C at an outpatient surgery center, when it is the best choice to protect their patient’s reproductive and overall health.
A D&C is a procedure to remove the lining of the uterus and is similar to what happens naturally during monthly menstrual cycles. However, to remove the lining manually, the uterus must be accessed. The dilation refers to the opening or widening of the bottom of the uterus or cervix. The curettage portion of the procedure refers to scraping the lining of the uterus to remove the tissue.
To begin the procedure, your OB/GYN uses a speculum to open the vaginal canal and uses medication to soften or to widen the cervix. Next, a curette -- a long spoon-shaped instrument -- is used to scrape the uterine lining. Finally, a suction device called a cannula may also be used to remove any remaining tissue from the uterine walls.
If you’re undergoing a D&C, you will be given anesthesia by your physician. You may receive local anesthesia or an epidural, which allows you to be awake during the procedure. In some cases, general anesthesia is used.
Your physician will discuss anesthesia options with you before your procedure. In most cases, it is best to have someone who can bring you home after having a D&C as you may be groggy and unable to drive.
A D&C can be used after a miscarriage, abortion or after childbirth to remove any remaining tissue that could cause infection or other complications. A D&C is also used to help treat women with heavy menstrual bleeding. In some cases, tissue removed from the D&C may be tested for abnormal cells or other issues as part of your treatment.
Your OB/GYN will almost always use some anesthesia during a D&C. However, you may experience some cramping and discomfort during the procedure and recovery. Light bleeding can be expected after the procedure. Your dedicated gynecological practitioner at Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Center will let you know what to expect and give you instructions for your recovery period.
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