Sue D., Pennsylvania, USA: To diagnose my endometrial cancer, my gynecologist decided to do a dilation and curettage (D&C) with hysteroscopy. Under local anesthesia and versed (so I didn't remember the surgery), she dilated my cervix and inserted a fiber-optic scope that allowed her to see inside the uterus to check for polyps and fibroids. Then, she inserted a spoon-like tool and scraped away the lining of the uterus. The scrapings were sent to a pathologist for a diagnosis. If my problem had been hyperplasia, a pre-cancerous condition, the D&C would have also been considered a treatment as well as a diagnostic tool.
Comprehensive physician-reviewed information about D&C is available at eMedicine.com, including risks, preparation for the procedure, and follow-up. http://www.emedicine.com/aaem/topic156.htm