Diagnosing Conditions of the Uterus in Lancaster, OH

Dilation and curettage, often abbreviated as D & C, is a common gynecological procedure used both for diagnosing and treating various uterine conditions.

What Is D & C Used For?

Patients who experience abnormal symptoms such as excessive menstrual bleeding or bleeding outside of their regular menstrual cycle are likely to undergo a D & C in order to investigate the cause of these irregularities. Because these symptoms are rather vague, they could signal the presence of any one of the following conditions:

  • Uterine polyps
  • Endometrial hyperplasia
  • Abnormal cell growth
  • Uterine cancer

As mentioned, D & C can also be used to treat several different uterine conditions. The procedure itself involves removing the woman’s endometrial tissue, which lines the inside of the uterus. Your specialist may decide to only take a small sample of this tissue, or it may be best to clear away more endometrial tissue in order to treat the patient’s underlying condition.

D & C is often performed after childbirth in order to clear away any remaining tissue, including part of the placenta. This same result can be achieved after a miscarriage, and helps to prevent any potential infection that the leftover tissue could cause.

In some cases, it is also possible to use a D & C procedure to prevent a harmful pregnancy, such as a molar pregnancy. This rare condition occurs when there is a problem during the fertilization process that results in the development of a tumor instead of a fetus within the uterus. The cells of this tumor usually grow quite quickly, which can lead to a sizable uterine tumor if not addressed.

Preparing for a D & C Procedure

D & C is typically completed in-office, meaning that patients need only come in to the office of OB/GYN Associates of Lacnaster, Inc. to have their procedure performed. Before coming in to our office, patients are given a small set of instructions us. This usually includes guidelines on what the patient is allowed to eat or drink before the procedure, and to arrange for a ride home after their treatment is complete. Anesthesia will be given to help the patient feel comfortable during the D & C, which can inhibit driving abilities afterward.

As the name would suggest, the dilation portion of the procedure involves dilating the woman’s cervix in order to give the physician access to the uterus. Dilation is typically achieved by gradually spreading the cervix apart using several rods that progressively increase in thickness to attain a wider opening to the uterus. Once the patient is fully dilated at approximately one half inch in diameter, your specialist will insert a specially designed device into the uterus that then suctions off the targeted endometrial tissue.

Rest and Recovery from D & C

After the tissue has been removed, patients are relocated to their own private room at OB/GYN Associates of Lancaster, Inc. to recover after their procedure. This time also gives them a chance to recuperate from the effects of anesthesia or other sedative used during the D & C.

Patients generally return home within the same day as their treatment, and it is common to experience a mild amount of discomfort within the first few hours after their D & C procedure. This discomfort typically includes a bit of cramping in addition to light spotting.

Knowing Your Risk

Dilation and curettage is a very standard procedure, so patients should not worry too much prior to the performance of their procedure. It is important to note that, like any medical procedure, D & C is associated with a few unlikely complications, such as:

  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scarring of the uterine wall
  • Infection
  • Perforation of the uterus

It is very important that you contact OB/GYN Associates of Lancaster, Inc. right away if you experience a fever, recurring cramps, worsening pain, heaving bleeding, or foul-smelling discharge after your D & C procedure.

For More Information

If you still have questions or concerns regarding the process of a D & C procedure, we encourage you to reach out to one of our specialists and schedule a consultation! For appointments, patients can call (740) 653-5088.

COVID-19 Updates

Do you ever feel at times due to life being so busy you put your health on hold? Now is the time to take care of you! For many of our patients we have postponed your annual exam by moving it out a few months in response to COVID-19, but we still want to make sure we have the opportunity to take care of you from afar. If you are our patient and have not had the opportunity for us to review your cancer family history with you, or maybe you have just put this on hold, here is the opportunity for you to fill out your information in a few quick steps online to see if testing is right for you! This questionnaire on your medical history will be posted to our website as well to access and to complete. So take control of your health today! We will be happy to direct you to right resources and follow up with you for any questions you may have.

OBGALS Logo