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Operations: Endometrial biopsy or aspiration

Insurance code: Q2020

Introduction: This information is written by John Fairbank and is provided for the benefit of his patients. Additional information will be given during consultation in the clinic and during the pre-operative discussion. It is not appropriate for all surgeons’ individual practice or for all patients.

Purpose of operation: To check the endometrium (lining of uterus) is healthy

Description of procedure: This procedure is usually carried out in the outpatient clinic. A speculum is passed into the vagina and the cervix held with a grasper (tenaculum). Some local anaesthetic is inserted and the cervix is then gently dilated. A thin plastic straw (Pipelle) is inserted through the cervix and a negative pressure applied. The straw is then withdrawn and inserted several times to remove a small volume of tissue for inspection by the pathologist.

Anaesthetic: Local

Length of stay: 30 minutes!

Post-operative management: A small volume of blood can be expected after the procedure similar to a light period. Some uterine cramps can occur during and after the procedure has been carried out and simple pain killers and anti-spasmodics such as Buscopan can be helpful

Potential complications: It is sometimes not possible to get the Pipelle straw into the endometrial cavity. Some individuals feel faint after the procedure has been carried out and need to lie flat for 10 minutes.

Post-operative consultation: In cases of post-menopausal bleeding it is sometimes necessary to meet to discuss the pathology reports.

Other considerations: Pipelle sampling will check the endometrial cavity but will not remove polyps which are too firmly attatched for removal under local anaesthetic and in these cases a hysteroscopy is required.

Relevant websites

Information on endometrial biopsy with the Pipelle straw