A hysteroscope is a small metal tube like a telescope that is connected to a light source and camera. It magnifies the cervical opening, uterine cavity, and the openings of the fallopian tubes during a procedure called hysteroscopy. Hysteroscopy may be: diagnostic, in which case it is only used to view the organs and observe any obvious abnormalitiestherapeutic or operative, in which case surgery is done through the scope
Hysteroscopy may be recommended to evaluate a woman's infertility. Often it is done after a test called a hysterosalpingogram picks up possible defects in the uterus. It may also be done if the following conditions are suspected: uterine polyps, or non-cancerous tumorsfibroids, which are growths in the uterus that are non-cancerousa wall, or septum, dividing the uterusan abnormally shaped uterusfetal tissue remaining after a miscarriage or abortion a lost intra-uterine device (IUD)scarring of the lining of the uterus, known as Asherman's syndromeunexplained infertility
It can also be used as a technique for a tubal sterilization.
A hysteroscopy is usually done in the first 2 weeks of a woman's menstrual cycle. This makes it easier to view the inside of the uterus and ensures she is not pregnant. It takes about 20 to 45 minutes and can be done: in an office under local anesthesia for diagnostic or minor therapeutic decisions in the hospital under general anesthesia if it is a larger therapeutic procedure or combined with a D & C or laparoscopy
First, the cervix and vagina are cleansed. The cervix may be dilated or opened so that the scope can be inserted into the uterus. The uterus is inflated with fluid or a harmless gas to make it easier to view. Any suspicious lesions may be biopsied or removed using small tools placed in the scope. This tissue is sent for microscopic analysis.
These tools can be also used to destroy (ablate) the uterine lining to treat bleeding problems. They can also be used to enter the openings of the fallopian tubes either to open them to help fertility, or to block them to stop fertility.. Pictures may be taken with a special camera before and after any surgery is done.