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What is D&C?


Dear Doc,

I am now 56 years old and had a little bleeding from my vagina. My doctor is planning on doing a D&C. I did not ask, because she is a woman who gets annoyed easily. What is this thing about?{{more}}


Dear Maggie,

Any bleeding from the vagina after menopause must be investigated. One way of stopping the bleeding and getting samples for proper diagnosis is by a procedure called Dilatation and Curettage (D&C).

This procedure is done in the operating theatre and you are asleep during the procedure. An instrument is placed into the cavity of the uterus and fragments are removed. By entering the vagina and opening (dilating) the cervix, an instrument is used to remove the tissues (curettage) that are bleeding. It is likened to removing the “belly” of a calabash (“bowlie”) when you are making a bowl. The tissues are sent to the laboratory for analysis to see if they are from a cancer.

Your doctor should explain this procedure to you, even if you did not ask. You would have to consent to do the procedure and therefore if it was not explained to you it is not a proper consent.

It is always important to know that you must never feel scared of asking your doctor about more information on diagnosis, treatment and procedures. Your doctor can get annoyed at home as much as she wants, but when with patients, it is a requirement that the patient is well briefed. If the patient finds it difficult, then they should be allowed to have a member of family or similar to accompany them to assist.


SVG Cancer Society,

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