How Long For Cervix To Heal After D&C – RECOVER FROM A D&C?
What is D&C ?
D&C, short for dilation and curettage, is a very common surgical procedure performed in women, where the uterus is reached after dilating the opening of the cervix to clean the unwanted or abnormal tissue of the endometrial lining of the uterus. This abnormal tissue is scraped of from the inside of the uterus using a small spoon-shaped instrument called a curette. This procedure is performed either for a diagnostic purpose or a therapeutic purpose.
How do I know I need a D&C ?
A D&C is performed for several important reasons and your might plan a D&C for you if you have any of the following symptoms:
- You are bleeding heavily during your periods, then your doctor would want to look for a mass that is causing you to bleed heavily. The most common growth is known as a fibroid. It is a benign growth from a layer of the uterus. Or other types of masses may include polyps or a uterine cancer.
- You had a delivery where your placenta was not entirely expelled and your doctor would perform a D&C on you help your uterus expel the remnants of the placenta and go back to its normal size so your can heal better.
- You had a miscarriage and the conception tissue has not left your body naturally, therefore, a D&C would be done to eliminate the chances of infection and promote healing.
How do I prepare for D&C surgery?
D&C is regarded as a minor procedure with minimal complications and a short duration of stay in the hospital. You can prepare yourself by adopting a few measures and also following your doctors instructions avidly.
- Your doctor will take your complete history and he will also examine you thoroughly. It is imperative that you are open with your doctor and do not feel embarrassed.
- You need to tell the doctor if you are taking any medications, it can be over-the-counter medicines or the ones prescribed to you for any other disease.
- You need to inform your doctor if you are allergic to any medication or from anesthesia drugs or if you had any complications with previous surgeries.
- Tell your doctor if you have any bleeding disorder. Plus, it is important that you do not take aspirin or any other blood-thinners within 1 week of the surgery. And if you do take aspirin, then stop it 7 days before the surgery.
- Your doctor would also run a few blood tests on you in order to declare you completely fit for the surgery.
- If you have questions for your doctor, make sure that you clear your mind before proceeding for the surgery.
- Your doctor will plan the type of anesthesia that should be administered in you. It can be either general anesthesia, where you are put to sleep during the surgery, or spinal anesthesia, where your lower half of the body is desensitized so that you do not feel any pain.
- You will be admitted in the hospital a day before to run all the important measures required prior to surgery. This will also include fasting instructions, where you will be guided to strictly avoid taking food or water orally for at least 8 hours before the surgery.
- If you have any other medical condition, your doctor will make preparations for you,accordingly.
What should I expect during D&C ?
This surgical procedure is a daycare procedure and it does not take much time. You might also be discharged on the very next day of the surgery, provided that no complication has occurred during your stay at the hospital.
- Your anesthesia will be administered in you in a sterile environment.
- Your legs would be propped in lithotomy position where you legs will be supported on raised stirrups.
- Then the operating site will be vigorously sterilized to avoid infection.
- Your vaginal walls will be held open by a speculum to expose the cervix.
- A tenaculum will be used to hold the opening of the cervix and allow an approach to the uterus.
- A dilator instrument of different diameters is inserted in the cervix. A dilator with the smallest diameter is first used and then dilators of larger diameter are used one by one to gently open the opening if the cervix. This is because a large diameter dilator in the start would cause
trauma to the cervix.
- Once the cervix has opened to a desired diameter, a spoon-shaped instrument called curette is used to scrape the abnormal tissues from the endometrial of the uterus. Another way is to use a suction in a case of miscarriage to suck out all the tissue of the conception.
- After all the abnormal tissue is removed, another instrument is used to measure the height if the uterus, this instrument is called uterine sound. It is inserted in the uterus and the numbers written on the sound will help measure how much the sound has gone into the uterus and this will tell the height of the uterus.
- All the instruments are removed from the vaginal canal and the area is cleaned properly. You will be draped back and you will be send into the recovery room.
- The tissue that had been removed from the uterus is sent for lab work. This will tell if there is a malignant or benign growth. Similarly, it can also tell you about chromosomal abnormalities in the fetal tissues.
How Long For Cervix To Heal After D&C?
The recovery period of this procedure is short unlike the major surgeries. But this time mainly depends on how complicated the surgery was or what type of anesthesia was used. For instance, if you were administered with general anesthesia, then it might take a few hours to regain consciousness. On the contrary, you are awake during the spinal anesthesia and the drugs just have to wear off from the lower part of your body. You may be discharged on the same day, as well.
- Your doctor will instruct you to avoid using tampons, having sex or douching your genital area. All this can be done after 3 to 4 days of the procedure or whenever your doctor instructs you to.
- It is normal to experience cramping in the first few days of the procedure. It is also normal slightly bleed from your vagina or experience spotting, which is why it would be recommended for you to carry a sanitary napkin when coming to the hospital for the procedure. You can also take pain killers for your pain.
- You should resume usual diet. Try staying hydrated and eating healthier foods during this period. Or your doctor might give you a diet plan, as well.
- You would be asked to avoid doing strenuous exercises, instead, breathing exercises would do.
- You might have your next period earlier or later than its usual time. And this is completely normal.
- Make sure to give your body the rest and sleep it needs.
- Your doctor will plan your next follow-up, and it is necessary that you see your doctor to help you recover properly.
What complications might occur after D&C?
There are meager chances of developing complications after a D&C, but if you still experience symptoms that is out of the ordinary, let your doctor know immediately.
- Heavy bleeding
- Sever pain
- Discharge from the vagina
All these might indicate a complication that had occurred during the procedure. There might have been an injury to the internal structures or an infection that had spread during the surgery. A late but rare complication of D&C is Asherman syndrome where adhesions are formed in the uterus.