Dilation and Curettage (D&C) Procedure in Plano, TX
Dilation and curettage, often abbreviated as D & C, is a common gynecological procedure used both for diagnosing and treating various uterine conditions. The four female OBGYNs at Associated Women’s Healthcare are all board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and are all members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. They have extensive experience performing dilation and curettage procedures to diagnose and treat a wide array of conditions for women from throughout the Plano area. They will walk you through each step of the procedure and help you feel at ease. Contact Associated Women’s Healthcare today to schedule an appointment in Plano, TX by calling 972.612.8829.
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 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. The gynecologist may decide to only take a small sample of this tissue, or it may be best to clear away more endometrial tissue to treat the patient’s underlying condition.
D & C is often performed after childbirth 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.
How Do You Prepare for a D & C Procedure?
D & C is typically completed in-office, meaning that patients need only come into Associated Women’s Healthcare’s conveniently located Plano, TX office to have their procedure performed. Before coming into our office, patients are given a small set of instructions from their gynecologist. 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 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, the gynecologist 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 private room at Associated Women’s Healthcare 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 before 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
- Perforation of the uterus
You must contact Associated Women’s Healthcare right away if you experience a fever, recurring cramps, worsening pain, heaving bleeding, or foul-smelling discharge after your D & C procedure.
Schedule a Consultation in Plano, TX
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 gynecologists and schedule a consultation! To schedule an appointment with Associated Women’s Healthcare in Plano, TX, patients can call 972.612.8829.