Dilation and curettage, commonly called a D&C, is one of the most common gynecological procedures. During this non-surgical procedure, the doctor removes your uterine lining with suction or a sharp curette (surgical instrument).
The procedure is a way to diagnose uterine conditions including uterine cancer or polyps and the precancerous condition endometrial hyperplasia. Your healthcare provider may also recommend it to remove uterine fibroid tumors, a molar pregnancy, or a placenta that remains in the uterus after a delivery that has caused excessive bleeding.
What you can expect?
For dilation and curettage, you’ll receive anesthesia. The choice of anesthesia depends on the reason for the D&C and your medical history.
General anesthesia makes you unconscious and unable to feel pain. Other forms of anesthesia provide light sedation or use injections to numb only a small area (local anesthesia) or a larger region (regional anesthesia) of your body.
During the procedure:
You lie on your back on an exam table while your heels rest in supports called stirrups.
Your doctor inserts an instrument called a speculum into your vagina, as during a Pap test, in order to see your cervix.
Your doctor inserts a series of thicker and thicker rods into your cervix to slowly dilate your cervix until it’s adequately opened.
Your doctor removes the dilation rods and inserts a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge or a suction device and removes uterine tissue.