Dilatation and curettage (D & C or uterine evacuation)
Dilatation and curettage
(D & C) may be necessary to
investigate abnormal, heavy or irregular bleeding, or to
remove what are called the 'products of conception'
Nowadays, a hysteroscopy
to examine the lining of the
uterus is often carried out before a D & C. This involves
passing a small, fibre-optic 'telescope' along the vagina
and through the cervix in order to examine the lining of
D & C is usually performed
under a general anaesthetic
as a day-case procedure and takes about 15 minutes.
The cervix is dilated with
a smooth instrument called a
dilator. A curette, which is a small, spoon-shaped
instrument, is then passed through the cervix to remove
the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium). The
tissue is then sent to the laboratory to be examined.
Patients usually recover
rapidly, but may experience
discomfort similar to a period pain for a few hours after
the procedure. There may also be a small amount of
bleeding, which may last 1-2 days.