Dilatation and Curettage (D&C)
Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) is a minor surgical procedure to remove tissue from the endometrium, the lining of the womb. It is a brief surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and a special instrument used to scrape the uterine lining.
A D&C is usually carried out under general anaesthetic and takes approximately 10-15 minutes. You will be required to stay in hospital for at least two hours to recover from the anaesthetic and procedure.
There are two parts to the D&C procedure:
- Dilatation – the cervix, neck of the womb, is widened;
- Curettage – the endometrium, lining of the womb, is removed using a scraping instrument.
D&C is often used in combination with a hysteroscopy. A hysteroscopy is a procedure which uses a narrow telescopic device, called a hysteroscope, to look inside the womb. The hysteroscope is inserted into the womb, allowing your Consultant Gynaecologist to check for abnormalities.
You may need a D&C for one of several reasons, including:
- Removal of tissue in the uterus during or after a miscarriage or termination of pregnancy or to remove small pieces of placenta after childbirth. This helps prevent infection or heavy bleeding.
- A D&C may help diagnose or treat growths such as fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, hormonal imbalances or uterine cancer. A sample of uterine tissue may be taken for testing.
After a D&C, you will need to arrange for someone to take you home and stay with you for 24 hours. You should be able to return to work within two to three days.
A D&C is usually a safe and simple procedure and associated complications are rare.