What is hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy involves the placement of a telescope (the hysteroscope) through the dilated cervix, directly into the uterine cavity. No incisions are required for hysteroscopy.
Abnormalities inside the uterine cavity such as scar tissue (from prior infection or pregnancy), fibroids, polyps, or uterine malformations can be both evaluated and treated surgically at the time of hysteroscopy.
The recovery from a hysteroscopy alone is generally only 24-48 hours, since no incision is required. The risks associated with hysteroscopy are very minimal, and include very low chances of bleeding, infection, or uterine perforation.
How long does the surgery usually take?
It depends on what is found, but hysteroscopy usually takes about 15-45 minutes to perform. If only a diagnostic procedure is performed (without surgical removal of any tissue), the length of the procedure is even shorter. Following the surgery itself, your recovery in the recovery room generally lasts about 2-3 hours; shortly thereafter, you would then be discharged home.
In less than 1 % of cases, admission to the hospital for observation, pain management, or other reasons may be necessary. In almost every instance hysteroscopy is an outpatient procedure, which means "in and out" without the need for overnight observation in a hospital.
Are special preparations needed?
In addition to checking pre-operative blood work, there is very little else that you need to do other than to get a good night's sleep the night before your surgery. It is not necessary to donate blood in advance, since the likelihood of transfusion is well under 1%. You must remember that you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery. It is okay to brush your teeth the following morning with some water.
You should arrive for your surgery one hour before its scheduled time, at which time you will be greeted by the nurses and then by your doctor (who performs the surgery). You should wear comfortable clothing; but do not wear any nail polish so that the oxygen monitor, which the anesthesiologist will place on your fingertip, can function optimally. The person accompanying you can wait with you until minutes before the surgery is scheduled to begin, and he/she may join you in the recovery room shortly after the surgery is completed.
What kind of recovery should be expected?
Following hysteroscopy, most patients need about 1-2 days to "feel like themselves" again. Some cramping may persist for a few days; you should take the medications for pain given to you to alleviate any pain before it gets severe, rather than allowing to increase. The tiring effects of anesthesia can also last several days. Most people return to work after 1-2 days, although the range varies from patient to patient.
Do insurance companies cover the surgery?
Your insurance company almost always covers surgery. Our insurance coordinators will assist you with any questions you may have regarding insurance coverage. Each plan varies, and you need to know in advance the terms of your specific policy. Pre-certification for surgery is often required.