Why is a Biopsy Used in a Hysteroscopy?

Women experiencing problems in the reproductive system may require invasive procedures to diagnose or treat their condition. During a hysteroscopy, surgeons insert a lighted tube inside the uterus to examine it, or to take a tissue sample called a biopsy. The biopsy procedure looks for any abnormal growths, such as tumors or fibroids that may be causing the bleeding or pain. Specialists send all samples to a laboratory for examination under a microscope or by some other form of testing.

What is a Biopsy?

Biopsies are tissue samples used to examine infected, cancerous, or damaged tissue in the body. In the case of uterine changes, they become very important in diagnosing early stages of uterine cancer, fibroids, and other destructive diseases.

What Types of Procedures are Used?

Doctors currently use two types of procedures to take tissue samples of the uterus. A diagnostic procedure is usually the first approach in locating abnormal findings. Using a hysteroscope, surgeons carefully navigate it into the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus. In some cases, physicians make a small incision in the abdomen, or below the navel, with a slender tube called an endoscope. By doing this, surgeons can get a better look at the outside of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

After performing a diagnostic exam, doctors may choose to do an operative procedure if the results appear abnormal. This procedure uses anesthesia to put women to sleep before using a hysteroscope and taking tissue samples of the uterus.

What Will a Biopsy Reveal?

A biopsy may reveal a number of findings, including cancerous growths, scarring on the uterine wall, and excessive or irregular bleeding. It is the most important step in the early detection of uterine cancer, which can rapidly spread to others areas of the body. By taking samples of the uterus, doctors can decide on the right treatment course.

Will There Be Bleeding?

As with any invasive (inside the body) surgeries or procedures, there may be some bleeding in the location before and after the hysteroscopy and/or biopsy. Women should not take medications before surgery, like aspirin, that cause bleeding unless their doctor says otherwise.

Recovery for both a hysteroscopy and biopsy is faster than most other procedures. Unless doctors have concerns about the effects of anesthesia, patients go home afterward. Pain or discomfort may occur after the procedure, but this may be short lived.