Hysteroscopy

What Is Hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is a procedure for looking inside the cervix and uterus. The hysteroscope is a thin, lighted tube inserted through the vagina that can both diagnose and treat uterine conditions. Used operatively, other instruments can be inserted through the tube to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures. Hysteroscopy can also be used with other procedures, such as laparoscopy, in which an endoscope is inserted in the abdomen to view the outside of the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes.

For more information about hysteroscopy, call Virginia Mason’s Gynecology Department at (206) 223-6191. View our locations.

What Conditions Are Treated With Hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is effective for treating conditions including:

  • Polyps and fibroids. Instruments inserted through the hysteroscope can remove growths in the uterus.
     
  • Malformations of the uterus. Hysteroscopy can help identify abnormalities of the uterus, such us uterine septum.
     
  • Uterine adhesions. Also known as Asherman’s Syndrome, hysteroscopy is used to locate and remove excess tissue in the uterus.
     
  • Abnormal bleeding. Symptoms such as heavy menstrual flow or bleeding between periods can be investigated with hysteroscopy. Treatment with endometrial ablation, in which the uterine lining is destroyed to eliminate abnormal bleeding, can be done with the hysteroscope and additional instruments. 

Hysteroscopy for Placing the Essure System for Birth Control

Hysteroscopy is used to place the Essure system, a permanent form of birth control for women. The system uses two small, flexible coils placed in the fallopian tubes by the hysteroscope, so no incision is required. Over time the body generates tissue around the coils to block the fallopian tubes and permanently prevent conception. A back-up birth control method must be used for the first three months after inserting Essure. After this period a specialized X-ray will confirm the fallopian are blocked.   

What Are the Benefits of Hysteroscopy?

Typically treatment with hysteroscopy allows patients to go home the same day. Other benefits of this minimally invasive procedure include:

  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less risk than more invasive surgeries
  • Less pain following the procedure

What Can Patients Expect After Hysteroscopy?

Following hysteroscopy patients may experience cramping or slight vaginal bleeding for one to two days. Patients will be monitored in recovery for effects of sedation or anesthesia used during the procedure. Most patients return home the same day.