Hysteroscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of the uterus (womb). It is performed using a hysteroscope, a narrow tube with a telescope at the end. It is done either as an out-patient operation under a local anaesthetic or as a day-case under general anaesthesia.
There are two types of hysteroscopy:
Diagnostic hysteroscopy is used to look for any abnormalities in the uterus in order to find the cause of any problems, such as:
- heavy or irregular periods
- pelvic pain
- unusual vaginal discharge
Hysteroscopy is described as operative when it involves an additional procedure, such as a biopsy or treatment.
If an abnormality is suspected when viewing the inside of the uterus, a small sample of tissue, called a biopsy, may be taken to be examined under microscope.
If a medical condition, such as a polyp (projecting mass of overgrown tissue), is seen, it may be treated at the same time as the hysteroscopy.
The most common treatments carried out during a hysteroscopy include the removal of:
- adhesions and scar tissue in the uterus
- fibroids (non-cancerous growths) in the uterus
- a lost or stuck contraceptive device
- A contraceptive device can also be fitted during a hysteroscopy.
If the surgeon thinks it could be necessary treat a condition or take a biopsy during hysteroscopy, this will be discussed with the patient and the patient’s consent sought before the procedure.
For more information about recovering from the operation and what to expect on going home, read our information leaflet: Hysteroscopy