The D&C, or Dilation and Curettage procedure, is one of the most common surgical procedures performed on women. Depending on a patient’s condition and health, a D & C may be performed in a physician’s office or in a hospital. It is used to:
- diagnose and or treat abnormal uterine bleeding including heavy or prolonged menstruation
- diagnose and or treat unexplained bleeding between periods
- provide information regarding the presence of uterine cancer and in the removal of non-cancerous growths such as polyps
- remove retained tissue after a miscarriage
- for elective pregnancy termination
The procedure involves placing an instrument called a speculum into the vagina to hold the vaginal canal open. . Anesthesia administered to the cervix minimizes discomfort.
The physician will then use gentle suction or insert a curette (a metal loop on the end of a long thin handle) and gently scrape the inner layer of tissue (endometrium) for collection and examination.
D&C has few risks including perforation of the uterus and infection. Patients may return to normal activities as soon as they feel better, often the same day.