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At the Weill Cornell Medicine Fibroid and Adenomyosis Program, hysteroscopic procedures (often referred to as a “hysteroscopy”) are performed by surgeons trained in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.
Hysteroscopic procedures are performed to help diagnose and remove fibroids that are located inside the uterine cavity and to treat bleeding symptoms caused by fibroids or adenomyosis. Hysteroscopy allows for a physician to examine and view the inside of the uterus by passing a scope through the vagina and cervix.
Hysteroscopic procedures may be performed to:
- Evaluate the uterus and help diagnose a specific condition
- Remove fibroids
- Ablate (remove or decrease) the uterine lining to decrease heavy menstrual bleeding
Who is an Ideal Candidate for Hysteroscopic Procedures?
Hysteroscopic procedures are effective in helping physicians evaluate and diagnose many conditions. Hysteroscopic procedures are also useful for treating conditions, including removing abnormal growths within the uterus, such as fibroids.
Hysteroscopic procedures are highly effective for helping physicians evaluate, diagnose, and sometimes treat:
- The cause of heavy or lengthy menstrual flow, bleeding between periods, or bleeding after menopause
- Abnormal growths within the uterus, such as fibroids or uterine polyps
- Sources of infertility, such as uterine adhesions or bands of scar tissue
- Malformations of the uterus, such as a uterine septum
At the Weill Cornell Medicine Fibroid and Adenomyosis Program, all patients receive an extensive evaluation, including mapping of all fibroids. They are then evaluated by a team of specialists to determine if they are suitable candidates for hysteroscopic procedures.
No incision is made during hysteroscopic procedures, which means that there are very few risks associated with it. Some potential, though uncommon, risks of hysteroscopic procedures include:
- Fluid overload
- Uterine perforation (a cut through the wall of the uterus)
Hysteroscopic procedures offer your physician clear images of the inside cavity of the uterus. This is not a useful procedure if you have fibroids on the surface of the uterus or inside the muscle of the uterus or cysts on the ovaries.
What to Expect During Hysteroscopic Procedures
Before the procedure, you will be asked to provide a urine sample to confirm that you are not pregnant. You will be given a local anesthetic to help with the pain. You may also receive a mild sedative to help you relax.
The procedure is performed by a gynecologist trained in minimally invasive surgery. First, the doctor will widen (dilate) the opening to your uterus (cervix). Next, a hysteroscope (a thin tube with a light and camera) is inserted into the vagina and cervix.
Fluid (saline) is released through the outer covering of the hysteroscope. This causes the uterus to gently expand, making it easier to visualize any abnormal growths.
Depending on your case, sample cells may be collected for testing. Abnormal growths (such as fibroids) may also be removed during the procedure.
What to Expect During Recovery
Hysteroscopic procedures are outpatient procedures; no hospital stay is required. Typically, patients can leave your doctor’s office or hospital a few hours after the procedure and begin work and mild activity in as little as one day.
It is normal to have light bleeding for up to two weeks after the procedure (less than one pad per hour). You may experience cramping or pain afterward, but this will improve with time.
Your doctor will provide you with instructions on how long you should abstain from sex and inserting anything into the vagina. This is typically one week.
Recovery complications to monitor: For most patients, any discomfort associated with the procedure lasts for a few days. If you develop a fever or continue to feel pain, call your doctor.
Follow-up care: Patients at the Weill Cornell Medicine Fibroid and Adenomyosis Program have a follow-up visit, either in person or via telehealth, two weeks after the procedure. During this appointment, you may discuss test results and images with your doctor.
Why Choose Weill Cornell Medicine for Hysteroscopic Procedures?
There are many treatment options available to women who suffer from fibroids or adenomyosis. Treatment options range from medical therapy to surgery, with many other options in between.
The team at the Weill Cornell Medicine Fibroid and Adenomyosis Program is proud to offer the latest treatment options and provide personalized care for our patients. By getting to know and listening to our patients, we understand their needs, as well as their most difficult symptoms.
Our team includes highly trained surgeons who specialize in hysteroscopic procedures. We discuss the risks and benefits of this procedure extensively with interested patients. Our specialists carefully evaluate each patient to determine if they are suitable candidates for a hysteroscopic procedure.
Our team of minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons and interventional radiologists collaborates with other specialists in reproductive health, integrative medicine, and nutrition to help patients receive high-quality, personalized care.