Dilation and Curettage

(D&C)

Definition

Dilation is a procedure to open and widen the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the uterus. Curettage is the removal of the lining of the uterus by scraping. The lining is known as the endometrium. The two procedures are done together and are often referred to as a D&C.
Dilation and Curettage
dilation and curretage
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Reasons for Procedure

A D&C is usually done to determine what condition is causing abnormal bleeding. Some conditions that may cause abnormal bleeding are:Sometimes a D&C is done to stop the bleeding, rather than to diagnose why you are bleeding. For example, this procedure may be done to remove products of conception or to treat bleeding that has not responded to other methods.A D&C is not done if you have an infection, such as one that affects the uterus or fallopian tubes.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare. But no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a D&C, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, such as:
  • Complications related to anesthesia
  • Injury to the cervix
  • Scarring of endometrium
  • Infection of the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Uterine perforation (hole in the uterus)
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to other organs in the abdomen
  • Need for additional surgery
  • Possible need to remove the uterus ( hysterectomy )
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include having a pre-existing infection or condition.

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