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Hysteroscopy (under local anaesthetic)

IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]

What is a local anaesthetic hysteroscopy?

A hysteroscopy is an examination of the uterus (womb) performed while you are awake under local anaesthetic. This procedure is carried out as a day case and lasts about 10-15 minutes. An instrument is inserted into the vagina and local anaesthetic is used to numb the cervix (neck of the womb). Once the anaesthetic has taken effect a hysteroscope is gently passed through the cervix and into the womb itself. The scope is then attached to a camera, allowing the doctor to see a clear image on a video screen.

Hysteroscopy is performed for three main reasons:

  • to investigate abnormal bleeding
  • to obtain a sample from the inside of the womb
  • to remove polyps, which are fleshy swellings that grow on the lining of the womb

Before your procedureShow [+]Hide [-]

Preparation for admission

Getting ready for surgery is explained at the pre-assessment visit on ward 39 day unit following your out patient visit where all the relevant information will be given, an appointment letter and leaflet provided. If, however you are unable to wait or the unit is busy, the information may be given over the telephone for your convenience. A contact number will be given for further queries.


If you have been using contraception, please continue from the period before the operation and up to the date of admission.

Are there any risks?

  • Damage to the womb or internal organs occur in less than 1% of patients. This may require a further procedure to repair the damage.
  • Bleeding can occur as with any operation but should be light and may last for a few days after the procedure.
  • Infection can occur in the womb or pelvis but is uncommon. Contact the GP if there is heavy vaginal bleeding or raised temperature or offensive discharge.

After your procedureShow [+]Hide [-]


  • There may be discomfort in the abdomen like period cramps.
  • Mild pain killers such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen (if suitable) can be useful.
  • If pain is severe and persistent, please contact the GP.


  • Sanitary towels should be used (not tampons) until the next period to prevent infection. In most cases light bleeding may occur lasting a few days
  • If bleeding becomes heavy (using more than two pads in an hour) this is not normal. Please contact the GP with any concerns.

Follow up

Any follow up arrangements will be discussed before you go home. Normal activities can be resumed as soon as you feel well enough. You can return to work in the afternoon or the following day. Avoid sexual intercourse until the bleeding stops.

What if I have a problem after I go home ?

Contact Ward 39 at the R.V.I. between 9am- 5pm on weekdays 0191 2825639

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