Rapid Access Hysteroscopy Unit
Our Rapid Access Hysteroscopy Unit provides outpatient gynaecology procedures, including hysteroscopy and removal of polyps.
These procedures are quick and simple, and you will remain awake. You can go home on the same day as the procedure.
The Rapid Access Hysteroscopy Unit can:
- investigate heavy or irregular periods
- investigate bleeding after menopause
- remove endometrial polyps
- remove difficult intrauterine devices.
In most cases, a hysteroscopy will only take about 5-10 minutes to perform. Treatment of polyps can take a little longer. You will be onsite for approximately 45 minutes.
It is a procedure that enables a gynaecologist to see the inside of the uterus (womb).
Traditionally, it has been done under a general anaesthetic. However, with newer, smaller instruments, we are able to perform the procedure while you are awake.
The hysteroscope is similar to a narrow telescope. It is inserted into the vagina and then through the opening (cervix) into the uterine cavity.
Liquid is introduced to separate the walls of the uterus. This makes space so the inside of the uterus can be seen.
After the hysteroscopy, a speculum may be inserted, to take a sample of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) or insert an intrauterine device (IUD), if needed.
If something is found within the uterus that requires treatment, such as a polyp, this can often be removed at the same appointment using special equipment.
In this case, local anaesthetic is often used to reduce any discomfort.
You can find out more by watching a video about outpatient hysteroscopy on the Australian Gynaecological Endoscopy and Surgery website.
Your doctor can refer you to the Rapid Access Hysteroscopy Unit.
In your referral, your Doctor may attach the Rapid Access Hysteroscopy Questionnaire.
On the day
On the day of your hysteroscopy, you may like to take some simple pain relief (such as paracetamol or ibuprofen) about 30 mins before your appointment.
It does not matter where you are in your menstrual cycle or whether you are actively bleeding. If there is any possibility you are pregnant, a hysteroscopy cannot be performed.
Before your procedure, a doctor from the Rapid Access Hysteroscopy Unit will explain what will happen and answer any questions you might have.
In most cases, the hysteroscopy will only take about 5-10 minutes to perform. Treatment of small fibroids and polyps can take a little longer. If you like, you can watch what is happening on a screen.
During the procedure, a degree of mild discomfort or cramping is common. If you experience pain, please advise your doctor. The procedure can be abandoned at any time, and rebooked to be performed under a general anaesthetic.
After your hysteroscopy, the doctor will explain the findings with you, and you will be able to go home.
You will go home from hospital on the same day as the procedure. We recommend you have someone to take you home, in case you experience any discomfort after the procedure.
Following the procedure some symptoms may be experienced including:
- feeling faint
- cramping similar to period pains
- mild bleeding
- nausea, tiredness or muscle pain.
These symptoms are usually mild and improve within 2-3 days. Once any bleeding has stopped and you feel well enough, you may commence your usual physical activity.
We recommend avoiding sexual activity, use of tampons, and soaking in baths or spas for one week following the procedure.
No procedure is without risk, but the risks associated with this procedure are very small. Most patients will only experience mild cramping.
In some circumstances, we are unable to move the scope past the opening to the uterus and the procedure needs to be rescheduled or booked to be performed under a general anaesthetic.
Some complications that may occur are:
- perforation of the uterine wall
- shoulder tip pain.
Follow up and appointments
If a sample is taken, you may receive your results by phone and be referred back to your local doctor for ongoing care.
If further management is required, an appointment will be arranged for you in the Gynaecology Clinics at the Women’s to discuss the results.
Results from any samples taken during your hysteroscopy may take a few weeks to be reported.
In the event of an emergency
If you require urgent attention after discharge, you should contact your GP or go to your closest Emergency Department.
In the event of an emergency, call 000 immediately for ambulance care.