Dilation and Curettage (D&C)
Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. Health care providers perform dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion.
In a dilation and curettage,doctor uses small instruments or a medication to open (dilate) the lower, narrow part of your uterus (cervix). Doctor then uses a surgical instrument called a curette, which can be a sharp instrument or suction device, to remove uterine tissue.
During the Procedure
For dilation and curettage, you’ll receive anesthesia. The choice of anesthesia depends on the reason for the D&C and your medical history.
During the procedure:
- You lie on your back on an exam table while your heels rest in supports called stirrups.
- Doctor inserts an instrument called a speculum into your vagina, as during a Pap test, to see your cervix.
- Doctor inserts a series of increasingly thick rods into your cervix to slowly dilate it until it’s open enough.
- Doctor removes the dilation rods and inserts a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge or a suction device and removes uterine tissue.
Because you’re either unconscious or sedated during a D&C, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort.