This is a medical procedure where a doctor looks inside the uterus to diagnose and treat the causes of abnormal bleeding.
It is done with the use of a hysteroscope. The doctor inserts a thin, lighted tube is inserted into the vagina. The tube is used to examine the cervix and inside of the uterus. To do a corrective surgery, a diagnosis is done with a hysteroscope.
The surgical operation is referred to as operative hysteroscopy. It is done to remove polyps, fibroids, and adhesions as well.
Hysteroscopy is also with other procedures like laparoscopy, or before procedures such as dilation and curettage (D&C).
For instance, the doctor inserts an endoscope (a slender tube fitted with a fiber-optic camera) into the abdomen to view the outside of your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes while diagnosing laparoscopy. During this diagnosis, the doctor inserts the endoscope through an incision made through or below the navel.
Types of hysteroscopy
There are two types of hysteroscopy. They are diagnostic hysteroscopy and operative hysteroscopy.
This is used for diagnosing problems of the uterus. It is also used for confirmation results of other tests, like hysterosalpingography (HSG) – an X-ray dye test used for checking the uterus and fallopian tubes. This kind of diagnosis is often be done in an office setting.
This is done to correct an abnormal condition detected during a diagnostic hysteroscopy.
In a situation where an abnormal condition was detected, an operative hysteroscopy is performed at the same time to avoid the need for a second surgery. While doing operative hysteroscopy, small instruments are used to correct the condition. They are inserted through the hysteroscope.
For instance, the operative hysteroscopy is done to correct uterine conditions, which includes:
- Polyps and fibroids: Here, the procedure is to remove non-cancerous growths found in the uterus.
- Adhesions: This is also referred to as Asherman’s Syndrome, which are bands of scar tissue that can form in the uterus. This may lead to abnormal menstrual flow and infertility. So, with hysteroscopy, the doctor can locate and remove the adhesions.
- Septums: Hysteroscopy is used here know id a patient has a uterine septum, a malformation (defect) of the uterus present from birth.
- Abnormal bleeding: Hysteroscopy is used here to identify the cause of heavy or lengthy menstrual flow and to bleed between periods or after menopause.
When to perform hysteroscopy
The doctor usually recommends the procedure to take place during the first week after the patient’s menstrual period. This is to allow the doctor to get the best view of the patient’s uterus.
This hysteroscopy procedure is necessary because it is when the doctor can determine the cause of unexplained bleeding or spotting in postmenopausal women.
Cost of hysteroscopy in Nigeria
Hysteroscopy is very expensive, as it is also invasive. Patients are not expected to experience pain except for some cramps during or after the procedure. A study on hysteroscopy in Nigeria found out that it is a safe and effective method in the management of endometrial pathologies.
In Nigeria, hysteroscopy cost ranges between ₦750,000 – ₦3,000,000 naira. This is relative to the extent of the procedure, the surgeon, the location, and the health facility.
Note that a diagnostic-only procedure is much less than having surgery. Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt have a higher price of the procedure than other cities like Benin City in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the cost could be higher than the stated range, with hospital and general anesthesia plus blood transfusion fees included. In a situation where it requires an extensive procedure, it can be up to ₦5,000,000 naira.