The Spencer Private Hospital Gynaecology Clinic is fully equipped to provide a full range of diagnostic services, including hysteroscopy and colposcopy. As well as dealing with general gynaecological problems, the clinic offers specialist advice and management of abnormal cervical smears, ovarian cysts and endometriosis.
We have a fully equipped theatre where the full range of minimal access procedures (both hysteroscopic and laparoscopic) can be carried out. Some procedures, such as a hysteroscopy, colposcopy and loop diathermy (Lletz procedure) can be carried out in the specially equipped day surgery/outpatient treatment rooms.
A hysteroscopy is a procedure that uses a small instrument called a hysteroscope, which is not unlike a small telescope, to look at the inside of the uterus. It can be performed as an outpatient procedure with or without a local anaesthetic (you will be awake but you won’t feel any pain). Or it can be done as an inpatient procedure under general anaesthetic (you will be unconscious throughout the procedure).
A biopsy is usually performed alongside a hysteroscopy where a small piece of the lining of the womb is removed. This sample is then looked at under a microscope and helps doctors identify any problems or causes for any symptoms. Some common conditions that hysteroscopy is used to identify are:
- Fibroids – A non-cancerous growth made of muscle and tissue of the womb. Sometimes they are referred to as uternine myomas or leiomyomas.
- Polyps – Small, flat bumps that caused by abnormal tissue growths. These can be both benign and malignant but they carry very little malignant potential.
- Endometrial cancer - A malignant growth on the lining of the womb. The earlier this is caught the better.
- Abnormally shaped womb – This can cause problems with conceiving and further along can cause problematic labour and delivery. This is sometimes associated with miscarriages and abnormal uterine bleeding.
A colposcopy involves using a bright light and a microscope to look at your cervix. The preparation is the same as for when you have a cervical smear. During this procedure, a solution of weak acetic acid (vinegar) is used to dab the cervix. This will then show up any abnormal cells as they will change colour. Should any abnormal cells be present, the consultant will be able to identify them and take a small biopsy to send away for further analysis.
A loop diathermy, or Lletz, is a minor procedure usually recommended after an abnormal cervical smear test result. You will need to be prepared in much the same way as for a cervical smear, the difference being that you will be given a local anaesthetic into the cervix at the beginning of the procedure.
The aim of the loop diathermy is to remove the area of cells which are abnormal so that they may be looked at under the microscope for further investigation. The procedure itself takes only a few minutes to perform. In many cases this will be the only treatment that you will need, though you will require follow up colposcopies to make sure that you have healed well and that there is no reoccurrence of abnormal cell growth.