How is dilation and curettage (D&C) performed?

How is cancer of the endometrium detected?

The Pap test is less than 50 percent effective in detecting endometrial cancer that is, cancer in the womb or lining of the body of the uterus. Two other techniques are used in diagnosing this cancer: dilation and curettage (D&C) and aspiration curettage.

How is dilation and curettage (D&C) performed?

After the patient is anesthetized, usually with light general anesthesia, the doctor gently stretches the cervix and inserts an instrument called a curette, which he uses to scrape the wall of the uterus. Tissue samples are removed for study under the microscope. The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis.

What is aspiration curettage?

The doctor, in his office, takes a tissue specimen from the lining of the uterus. A device, called an endometrial aspirator, consists of a disposable tube connected to a syringe. The tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus and scrapes a piece of tissue from the uterine lining. The tissue samples are then studied under the microscope for abnormal cell changes.

What do the results from the aspiration curettage show?

If analysis of the tissue shows endometrial hyperplasia (an overgrowth of lining cells), the doctor usually advises the patient to have a D&C to help prevent future problems. If there is a history of uterine cancer in your family, or if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, have been on estrogen replacement therapy, and/or are going through the menopause, ask your doctor about having this kind of analysis.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the kind of tissue which normally lines the uterus is found in abnormal places, such as on the surface of the ovaries, the outside of the uterus, in operation scars in the lower abdomen, in tissue between the vagina and rectum, etc. It is not a cancerous condition, but it does cause painful menstrual periods, abnormal bleeding, and general discomfort. Surgery is usually required.


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