BIOPSIES AND COLPOSCOPIES
A Colposcopy is a simple procedure using a large magnifying instrument called a colposcope. It allows your doctor to get a good look at your cervix and usually takes up to 10 to 15 minutes to perform. It is like getting pap smear. You usually get a colposcopy if you had some sort of abnormal results on your Pap smear test so your doctor can further diagnose any problems.
If your doctor believes there might be something not quite right with your cervix, they might recommend a colposcopy. Some of these reasons may be abnormal pap smear results, abnormal looking cervix during pelvic exam, tests that show you have HPV or unexplained bleeding or other issues.
Your doctor can use a colposcope to diagnose cervical cancer, genital warts, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer, as well. Once your doctor gets the results from your colposcopy, he’ll know whether or not you need further tests.
A cervical biopsy is a procedure to remove tissue from the cervix to test abnormal or precancerous conditions, or cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus. It forms a canal that opens into the vagina. Cervical biopsies can be done in several ways.
- Punch biopsy: In this method, small pieces of tissue are taken from the cervix with an instrument called “biopsy forceps.” Your cervix might be stained with a dye to make it easier for your doctor to see any abnormalities.
- Cone biopsy: This surgery uses a scalpel or laser to remove large, cone-shaped pieces of tissue from the cervix.
- Endocervical curettage (ECC): During this procedure, cells are removed from the endocervical canal (the area between the uterus and vagina). This is done with a hand-held instrument called a “curette.”
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