Hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows your gynecologist to look inside your uterus and diagnose and treat causes of abnormal bleeding. There are two types of hysteroscopy: a diagnostic hysteroscopy and an operative hysteroscopy. With a hysteroscopy ablation treatment or a hysteroscopy polypectomy, your doctor can remove growths from your uterine lining. Or he or she may just need to do a hysteroscopy biopsy to take a small tissue sample.
During a diagnostic hysteroscopy your New York gynecologist uses a long, thin, lighted telescope-like instrument — a hysteroscope — to observe changes inside your uterus. This is called a diagnostic hysteroscopy.
If you need treatment for polyps, your doctor can do a hysteroscopy polypectomy. If heavy bleding caused by uterine fibroids is an issue, he can perform a hysteroscopy ablation procedure. Both use the same tool, and all hysteroscopy procedures are usually performed right in the office of your gynecologist in Queens, NYC.
Hysteroscopy vs. Laparoscopy
While both laparoscopy and hysteroscopy can be used to treat similar symptoms, there are differences between the two procedures. Unlike laparoscopy, hysteroscopy is performed without any incisions. During a hysteroscopy, the instrument is inserted into your uterus through your vagina and past your cervix.
Hysteroscopy allows your doctor to see inside your uterus. A top OB/GYN in Queens, NYC can use laparoscopy to examine both the inside and outside of your uterus, including your ovaries and fallopian tubes. Sometimes, your doctor performs a laparoscopy/hysteroscopy combination.
Diagnosing uterine abnormalities based on reported symptoms alone can be challenging, since symptoms of different conditions can be similar. Seeing inside your uterus via hysteroscopy helps your doctor make a definitive diagnosis. Your doctor may recommend a diagnostic hysteroscopy if you have:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- More than two consecutive miscarriages
- Difficulty conceiving
The most common reason for a diagnostic hysteroscopy is irregular bleeding, including bleeding between your regular periods. In what is known as a hysteroscopy biopsy, the doctor uses the hysteroscope to remove cells from your uterine lining, so that they can be checked for abnormalities under a microscope.
Hysteroscopy can sometimes be used as an alternative to more invasive surgeries. Whether your gynecologist recommends operative hysteroscopy, laparoscopic surgery or a traditional surgical procedure depends on your condition and your needs. Because no open incisions are involved, hysteroscopy carries fewer risks and offers a shorter recovery time than other procedures, although it may still take some time before you feel fully recovered. Operative hysteroscopy can treat:
- Removal of polyps. Polyps sometimes grow on your uterine lining. If left untreated, polyps cause bleeding and can contribute to infertility. A hysteroscopy polypectomy allows your doctor to remove the polyps without doing invasive surgery.
- Removal of fibroid tumors. As with polyps, fibroid tumors can cause excessive or irregular bleeding, pain and bloating. Fibroid tumors are rarely cancerous, but may need to be removed to restore your quality of life. Your gynecologist in Queens, NYC may perform a hysteroscopy ablation to remove your fibroids if they’re relatively small, mostly or completely inside the uterus, and easily accessible.
- Reduction of heavy menstrual bleeding. If your menstrual bleeding is so heavy that it causes “flooding,” your doctor may recommend a hysteroscopy ablation. During this procedure, the lining of the uterus is destroyed via tools attached to the hysteroscope. A hysteroscopy ablation dramatically reduces or even eliminates bleeding during your monthly cycle, but there’s no chance of pregnancy after hysteroscopy ablation.
- IUD removal. Your doctor may recommend a hysteroscopy to remove your IUD if it becomes embedded in your uterine lining or is otherwise difficult to locate. A hysteroscopy allows the doctor to locate the IUD and determine the best way to remove it.
- Removal of adhesions. Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that develop on and around your organs. Uterine adhesions can affect your fertility and cause irregular bleeding and With a hysteroscopy, your doctor can locate and remove the adhesions.
The Hysteroscopy Procedure
Depending on the reasons for and circumstances of your hysteroscopy, your Forest Hills, New York gynecologist can perform the procedure in the hospital or in his office. A hysteroscopy takes as little as a few minutes to more than an hour. You may need general anesthesia or just a local anesthetic.
Before your appointment, your doctor takes a complete medical history and discusses the procedure. You may get a sedative to help you relax beforehand. A speculum is inserted into your vagina, and your cervix may be dilated to help with the insertion of the hysteroscope into your uterus through your vagina. If you’re having a hysteroscopy biopsy or hysteroscopy ablation, additional instruments are threaded through the hysteroscope.
You may feel some cramping and bloating after hysteroscopy procedures. You may have localized pain or discomfort. You can expect some discharge, bleeding or spotting after hysteroscopy procedures, which may last a few days. If you had general anesthesia, you will need a few hours until the effects dissipate, and someone else must drive you home. You might have some activity restrictions and not allowed to exercise or do any heavy lifting for a few weeks after the procedure.
Risks and Side Effects
Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure with a low incidence of risk. The risks include:
- Prolonged bleeding
- Puncture of the uterine wall, cervix or vagina
Contact your gynecologist in Queens, NYC right away if you experience unexpected bleeding, severe pain, fever or chills following your hysteroscopy. Pain following an operative or diagnostic hysteroscopy can be mild to moderate. It’s usually controlled by pain medication. Bleeding and spotting after hysteroscopy procedures can be managed with a regular pad or liner.
Your chances of pregnancy after hysteroscopy procedures vary based on the type of procedure performed. Following a hysteroscopy ablation, your chances of becoming pregnant are very low, because the uterine lining is removed. However, a hysteroscopy polypectomy can remove barriers to embryo implantation, making it easier for some women to become pregnant.
Forest Hills Medical Services is a comprehensive clinical practice. In our office we believe that how you are treated is just as important as the medical care we provide. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality obstetrics and gynecology with warmth and compassion. Our physicians are easy to talk to and our entire staff is friendly and attentive to your needs.
The best gynecologists in Queens who are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team are renowned for their extensive skills in performing hysteroscopy.
We will listen to all your concerns and together we will come up with the treatment plan that works for you and your unique circumstances.
Call FHMS to meet our staff in our state-of-the-art offices and be heard.
Gynecologists Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor), Dr Nithya Gopal and Maris Huffman, NP
Gynecologist Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor)
Forest Hills Medical Services
108-16 63rd Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
☎ (718) 897-5331