If you’re suffering from uterine polyps or fibroids, you know what kind of havoc they can wreak on your daily life. The board-certified OB-GYNs in La Peer Health Systems’ Department of Gynecology offer hysteroscopy as an alternative to more invasive surgical procedures for the treatment of dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
WHAT ARE UTERINE POLYPS?
Ranging in size from less than an inch to a few inches, uterine polyps are growths forming on the inner wall of the uterus and inside the uterine cavity. Although uterine polyps may be cancerous or pre-cancerous, they are typically benign. Uterine polyps tend to affect women who have finished menopause.
Some women with uterine polyps experience few if any symptoms. However, for others, uterine polyps are a daily inconvenience, causing any of the following problems:
- Irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding between periods
The cause of uterine polyps is unknown, however they seem to grow in response to the presence of the hormone estrogen.
WHAT ARE FIBROIDS?
A common condition affecting one in five women of childbearing age, uterine fibroids are benign tumors that develop in the uterus. Although fibroids are not cancerous, they may continue to grow larger as long as a women is menstruating.
Even if fibroids remain small, they can cause sufferers a great deal of pain and inconvenience. The following are symptoms of uterine fibroids:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding between periods
- Pelvic pain and cramping
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Frequent urination
While the specific cause of fibroids is unknown, researchers have linked the condition to the hormone estrogen.
The experienced OB-GYNs at La Peer recommend hysteroscopy as a treatment for removing both uterine fibroids and polyps.
HYSTEROSCOPY FOR REMOVING UTERINE POLYPS AND FIBROIDS
Hysteroscopy is both a diagnostic and surgical procedure in that it allows doctors to examine the inside of the uterus to identify and remove the cause of dysfunctional uterine bleeding. A minimally invasive procedure, hysteroscopy enables doctors to remove uterine fibroids and polyps without the need for an abdominal incision.
During the procedure, our expert gynecologists will insert an instrument called a hysteroscope into the uterus through the vagina. We will then release a liquid or gas through the hysteroscope in order to widen the uterus. A light on the end of the hysteroscope helps doctors find the uterine fibroids and polyps causing the dysfunctional bleeding. The doctor can then remove the problematic tissue or destroy it using a laser beam or electric current.
Most hysteroscopies take between thirty and forty-five minutes to complete and can be performed on an outpatient basis using general or local anesthesia. A relatively safe procedure, hysteroscopy may be an excellent solution for women suffering pain, bleeding and infertility as a result of their uterine fibroids or polyps.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: When should hysteroscopy be performed?
A: To ensure that doctors have a good view of the uterus, a hysteroscopy should be performed one week after your menstrual period.
Q: What are the dangers associated with hysteroscopy?
A: Although hysteroscopy is generally regarded as a safe procedure, there are some risks. Contact your OB-GYN if you experience any of the following symptoms after surgery: fever, severe vaginal bleeding, serious pain in the abdominal region. Rare complications of hysteroscopy include scarring, infection and injury to the cervix.
Q: What can I expect after my hysteroscopy?
A: Many patients experience mild cramping or bleeding for a couple days after hysteroscopy.
Q: When can I go home after hysteroscopy?
A: You will be able to leave our Beverly Hills facility a few hours after having a hysteroscopy. Because you will be under anesthesia during the procedure, you should arrange for a friend or relative to pick you up after surgery.
Q: Who is a good candidate for a hysteroscopy?
A: Women experiencing serious pain, discomfort and inconvenience as a result of uterine fibroids or polyps may be good candidates for hysteroscopy.
CONTACT OUR OB-GYNS
If uterine bleeding is interfering with your daily life, the doctors at La Peer may be able to help. Contact our board-certified gynecologists online or call 855.360.9119 for a consultation. You can learn more about our procedures and treatment plans by visiting our department website, the Surgical Gynecology Center of Excellence.
Next, read about Infertility Evaluation.