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Surgeries and Procedures

Hysteroscopy: When is it Necessary?


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Summary & Participants

If you are suffering from abnormal bleeding, you may have submucus fibroid tumors. These tumors can cause severe cramping, fatigue, heavy menstrual periods and bleeding in between periods. Fortunately, they can be removed by your gynecologist with a hysteroscopy. Join us as gynecologist Martin Goldstein, MD and a hysteroscopy patient discuss this important procedure.

Medically Reviewed On: July 21, 2009

Webcast Transcript


PAUL MONIZ: I'm Paul Moniz. Thank you for being with us today. We are discussing how hysteroscopy has become an alternative to hysterectomy in treating abnormal uterine bleeding. Here to walk us through this procedure and its effectiveness is a gynecologist and one of his patients. We appreciate you being here.

Dr. Martin Goldstein is Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Next to him is Valerie. She is a 50-year-old mother of two who has agreed to share her story, though because of its sensitive nature, she does not want her face shown. Thank you both for being here.

Dr. Goldstein, let's talk again about hysteroscopy. What exactly is it?

MARTIN GOLDSTEIN, MD: Hysteroscopy is a technique that can be either diagnostic or therapeutic. Hysteroscopy began in the United States in the 1970s, initially as a diagnostic procedure. In the mid-1980s, we linked hysteroscopy to resectoscopy, which is a way of using a surgical instrument to be able to cut fibroids out of the uterus or remove polyps from the uterus. By removing fibroids from within the central cavity of the uterus without making an abdominal incision, we have the option to do conservative, minimally invasive surgery, and allow a patient to get back to her normal function, usually within one or two days.

PAUL MONIZ: We're talking about a submucosal fibroid. Is that right?

MARTIN GOLDSTEIN, MD: Yes.

PAUL MONIZ: What percentage of women have this type?

MARTIN GOLDSTEIN, MD: Somewhere between 30 percent and 50 percent of the female population in the United States has fibroids. Most of these fibroids do not create any problem. When people have heavy bleeding, usually it is due to a submucosal fibroid. The actual number of submucous fibroids in the United States is much fewer than the 40 percent of people who have overall fibroids. Probably 2-5 percent of people with fibroids might have a submucous fibroid.

PAUL MONIZ: Valerie, when you went to see Dr. Goldstein, what symptoms were you experiencing at the time?

VALERIE: I had been weak and tired, and I had anemia. I was not aware how heavy my periods were over the last months.

PAUL MONIZ: Is that common doctor that a woman would not be aware that she is actually bleeding more heavily than either she's used to, or she should?

MARTIN GOLDSTEIN, MD: Most of us are creatures of habit. If we are accustomed to a usual circumstance, we may not think that's abnormal, unless you would compare your story. If a woman would compare how many pads she went through during her period with a neighbor, then she might say, "Gee, I'm bleeding twice as much as my neighbor."

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