Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy means looking into the uterus (from the Greek); by means of a small telescope inserted through the cervix or neck of the womb.  It is usually performed under a short general anaesthetic (asleep) as a day case procedure (in and out the same day).  Recovery is generally good, with minimal pain or bleeding expected.  You'd normally take the next day off work.  

The main purpose of hysteroscopy is to assess the uterine cavity and the lining of the womb (endometrium).  Fibroids and polyps can be seen, and abnormalities of the endometrium can be checked.  

Fibroids and polyps can be removed at the time, usually requiring further techniques to resect them, known as operative hysteroscopy.  

The main complication specific to hysteroscopy is making a small hole in the uterus or creating a false passage, and this can occasionally require further surgery such as a laparoscopy or even a laparotomy.  A perforation may occur in one in 500-1000 cases of routine hysteroscopy, but up to 1% for operative hysteroscopy.  Not all will require further intervention.  

The other main complication of operative hysteroscopy (for fibroids) is the possibility of absorbing excess fluid, which can be dangerous.  Measures are to taken to monitor the fluids used to minimise this risk