Dilation is a procedure to open and widen the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the uterus. Curettage is the removal of the lining of the uterus by scraping. The lining is known as the endometrium. The procedures are done together and often called a D&C.
A D&C may be done to find the cause of abnormal bleeding or treat it. For example, it may be done to treat bleeding that has not responded to other methods. Some common issues that may be treated wit D&C are:
General anesthesia—keeps you asleep throughout the surgery
Local anesthesia—numbs the area only
Description of Procedure
A pelvic exam will be done to find out the size and location of the uterus. The vagina and cervix will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. A speculum will be placed in the vagina. An instrument called a cervical dilator will be placed into the canal. A scoop-shaped instrument will be passed into the uterus. It will scrape the uterine lining. The tissue will be removed through the vagina. The tools will be removed once the work is done.
Immediately After Procedure
Care team will monitor you in recovery room.
How Long Will It Take?
You may be able to go home in a few hours.
Will It Hurt?
You may have some cramping and back pain with local anesthesia.
There will be some pain up to 24 hours after the procedure. Medicine and home care will help.
At the Care Center
You will be monitored in the recovery center.
You can return to most normal activities in 1 to 2 days.
Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not going as you expect or you have problems, such as:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills, increasing pain, or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
Nausea or vomiting that does not stop
Vaginal bleeding that is saturating more than 1 sanitary pad per hour
Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
D&C procedure after a miscarriage. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/d-and-c-procedure-after-miscarriage. Accessed December 13, 2020.
Dilation and curettage. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq062.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20120813T1113192776. Accessed December 13, 2020.
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