The procedure of dilatation and curettage or D&C as it is better known is widely used today for several reasons. It is a procedure done under general anesthesia which normally takes about 30 minutes or sometimes longer, depending on the complexity of the case.
Advantages of Dilation and Curettage
Today, this procedure has become a very commonplace surgical process, and is performed due to a number of advantageous aspects. Some of the advantages are:
- It is possible to obtain a large sample using this procedure.
- Dilation and curettage may serve as a cure if it results in the removal of the abnormal cells.
- If the D&C is done for halting heavy bleeding or cleansing the uterus of residual tissue after an abortion or miscarriage, then no further treatment may be required.
- It is useful for the removal of polyps and as mentioned above, it might not be needed in future.
- In the event of the biopsy showing cancerous cells, surgery can be planned accordingly.
Disadvantages of Dilatation and Curettage
Although this is a popular procedure commonly used in the world of medicine today, there are a few disadvantages which should also be taken into consideration. Given below are a few of the drawbacks:
- Potential Damage to the Cervix: There is a chance that the cervix may get damaged during the procedure, especially if the dilatation has not been done properly.
- Perforation of the Uterus: There is a possibility that the walls of the uterus may get punctured. Although the chances are slim, the risk is also small as the uterus usually heals without complications.
- Bleeding: There is usually some post-operative bleeding which diminishes with time but can be an inconvenience just the same.
- Cervicovaginal Fistula: This is can be caused by a combination of the dilatation and curettage procedure and certain medications.
- Uterine Rupture: Rare cases of uterine rupture have been cited where the instillation was caused by the infusion of high-dose oxytocin.
Side-Effects of Dilation and Curettage
The main side effect of this procedure is the pain which gradually subsides with time. Bleeding is another side-effect. There is a lot of psychological trauma which occurs, especially if the D&C has been done for an abortion, Bleeding,
If all the above points are taken into consideration before, during and after a dilatation and curettage procedure is done, the entire process becomes easier and more bearable for the patient, who then knows just what to expect.
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