Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a
surgical procedure used to locate and treat the cause of sudden, heavy
bleeding. It is done by passing a small instrument called a curette through the
vagina into the uterus and scraping the
D&C is typically an
outpatient procedure. A
general anesthetic is usually used, though a
spinal anesthetic may be used.
The recovery period following D&C
is short, and most women are able to return to normal activities within 1 to 2
During the recovery period:
Dilation and curettage (D&C) is
used to diagnose and treat bleeding problems. It is used to control sudden,
heavy vaginal bleeding that is causing heavy blood loss (hypovolemia) or a low
number of red blood cells (anemia). D&C is the quickest way to stop active
bleeding in the uterus.
D&C is one method used to get a tissue
sample for testing. For example, a
postmenopausal woman who has vaginal bleeding is
usually tested for signs of
Recurrence. Sudden, heavy bleeding may stop for a period of time. But
heavy bleeding usually returns following D&C.
Complications from a D&C are rare but
Abnormal vaginal bleeding that is
not caused by cancer may naturally stop after
D&C may be needed to
endometrial cancer and to control vaginal bleeding
that is causing
The hospital or surgery center
may send you instructions on how to get ready for your surgery or a nurse may
call you with instructions before your surgery.
surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where nurses will care for and
observe you. You will likely stay in the recovery area for 1 to 4 hours, and
then you will go home. In addition to any special instructions from your
doctor, your nurse will explain information to help you during your recovery.
You will likely go home with a sheet of care instructions including who to
contact if a problem arises.
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
November 27, 2012
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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