Dilation and curettage may be performed in a hospital, clinic or your doctor's office, and it's usually done as an outpatient procedure.
Before the procedure:
- Follow your doctor's instructions on limiting food and drink.
- Arrange for someone to help you get home because you may be drowsy after the anesthesia wears off.
- Clear your schedule to allow enough time for the procedure and recovery afterward. You'll likely spend a few hours in recovery after the procedure.
You should be able to resume your normal activities within a day or two.
In some cases, your doctor may start the process of dilating your cervix a few hours or even a day before the procedure. This helps your cervix open gradually and is usually done when your cervix needs to be dilated more than in a standard D&C, such as during pregnancy terminations or with certain types of hysteroscopy.
To promote dilation, your doctor uses a medication called misoprostol (Cytotec) — given orally or vaginally — to soften the cervix or inserts a slender rod made of laminaria into your cervix. The laminaria gradually expands by absorbing the fluid in your cervix, causing your cervix to open.
Feb. 15, 2014
- Stovall DW. Dilation and curettage. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 17, 2013.
- Frequently asked questions. Special procedures FAQ062. Dilation and curettage. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq062.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130917T1630247849. Accessed Sept. 17, 2013.
- DeCherney AH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology.11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=788. Accessed Sept. 17, 2013.
- Pfenninger JL, et al. Pfenninger & Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Mosby; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 17, 2013.
- Q&A: What you should know before surgery. American Society of Anesthesiologists. http://www.lifelinetomodernmedicine.com/What-To-Expect/QA-What-You-Should-Know-Before-Surgery.aspx. Accessed Sept. 18, 2013.
- Breitkopf DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 29, 2013.