Dilation and Curettage (D & C)

Dilation and curettage is a procedure that allows your doctor to evaluate and sometimes treat the lining of your uterus (endometrium). Dilation and curettage is done using instruments that gently scrape and remove the endometrial lining.

Why is Dilation and Curettage done?

Dilation and Curettage can be used to diagnose problems of the uterus, such as abnormal bleeding, pain, and infertility, and to evaluate and treat incomplete miscarriage.

Dilation and Curettage can also be used with other procedures, such as hysteroscopy (for visual evaluation), ablation, removal of polyps/fibroids, or before procedures such as laparoscopy.

Risks of Dilation and Curettage

Dilation and curettage is a relatively safe procedure. However, as with any type of surgery, complications are possible. Risks of complications are less than 1% usually.

Risks associated with anesthesia or local anesthetic

Perforation of uterus (Instrument penetrates wall of uterus)

Infection

Heavy bleeding

Injury to the cervix, uterus, bowel or bladder

Intrauterine scarring

What to expect before:

The night before your procedure, you should take Ibuprofen 600mg. If you cannot take Ibuprofen or aspirin please let us know.

If you are scheduled at the hospital, don’t eat or drink for 8 hours before your surgery. Follow your instructions from the hospital.

After you arrive you will be given a gown to change from the waist down.

You will be moved to the surgery suite and given anesthesia

After a speculum is placed, similar to a pap, the doctor will dilate (widen) your cervix to allow the instruments to be inserted.

The instruments are inserted through your vagina and cervical canal into your uterus, and the procedure is completed.

It usually takes 5-20 minutes for a hysteroscopy, but longer depending on other procedures you may be having.

You will need someone to drive you home after your procedure.

What can you expect after a Dilation and Curettage?

After the procedure, you may have some cramping or slight vaginal bleeding for a day or two. You may also feel somewhat faint or sick. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, be sure to contact us immediately:

Fever (temperature over 100 degree Fahrenheit)

Severe abdominal pain

Heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge

What medicines can I take for pain?

You will be given a prescription for Ibuprofen and a narcotic, such as hydrocodone.

Take the Ibuprofen first. That usually works best. If you need to, you may take the narcotic. If you take the narcotic do not drive after.

When can I return to normal activity?

You may return to normal activity the next day. Avoid anything vaginal for 4 weeks after. You may drive the following day as long as you are not taking pain medications.

If you have any concerns contact us at (509) 628-8866

Dilation and Curettage video