What is Dilatation and Curettage

There was a point in the past, not too long ago, when my niece developed heavy menstrual bleeding, lasting up to twelve days.  Upon her doctor’s advice, she underwent a surgical procedure called dilatation and curettage.  The operation was quite successful in that it was able to correct her condition at once.

A variety of factors can cause heavy menstrual bleeding.  One example is abnormality in either the timing or amount of hormones produced by the ovaries.  Under such condition, it may be necessary for your doctor to do various tests, each of which is aimed at measuring the hormone output of your ovaries.  If the doctor determines that the amount of hormones produced is abnormal, thus creating imbalances, he may prescribe hormones to remedy the situation.

Additionally, your doctor may perform other examinations to determine the existence of either of two conditions that may be causing your heavy menstrual bleeding:  an infection in any of your reproductive organs or the presence of fibroids, benign growths that usually develop in the wall of the uterus.

If heavy menstrual bleeding goes on in spite of all that your doctor has done, dilatation and curettage may finally solve the problem.  This relatively simple surgical procedure makes use of two instruments from which its name, dilatation and curettage, was derived:  a dilator is used to open the entrance to the uterus (cervix); and then, the surgeon scrapes the lining of the uterus (endometrium) with the use of a curette.

The scrapings are collected and scrutinized under a microscope.  This procedure enables the doctor to discover the source of the problem, making it easy for him to deal with it using a treatment he deems appropriate for the condition.

In a lot of cases, heavy menstrual bleeding appears to be remedied by the mere scraping part of the operation; this was very true in my niece’s case.  For this reason, a dilatation and curettage surgery can be considered a medical procedure that is both diagnostic and curative.

A dilatation and curettage operation is a brief medical procedure.  It requires that the patient be under a general anesthetic and, in general, for her to stay overnight in the hospital.  According to my niece, patients may experience pain, as well as some bleeding, for a few days.

Like all other surgeries, a dilatation and curettage operation carries some risks.  These, along with its benefits, should be thoroughly discussed with your doctor before deciding on going through with the operation.