(Biopsy-Cervix, Cervical Punch Biopsy, Cone Biopsy, Conization)
A cervical biopsy is a procedure performed to remove tissue from the cervix to test for abnormal or precancerous conditions, or cervical cancer.
The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb) located between the bladder and the rectum. It forms a canal that opens into the vagina, which leads to the outside of the body.
There are several types of cervical biopsies. In addition to removing tissue for testing, some of these procedures may be used to completely remove areas of abnormal tissue and may also be used for treatment of precancerous lesions.
Types of cervical biopsies include:
Other related procedures that may be used to help diagnose and treat abnormal or cancerous cervical cells include loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), colposcopy, and Pap test. Please see these procedures for additional information.
The organs and structures of the female pelvis are:
A cervical biopsy may be performed when cervical abnormalities are found during a pelvic examination, or abnormal cells are found during a Pap test. A positive test for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, may also be a reason for cervical biopsy. Certain types of HPV can cause cervical cancer and other less common types of genital cancers.A cervical biopsy is often performed as part of a colposcopy procedure, also called a colposcopy-guided cervical biopsy. A colposcopy is a procedure that uses a colposcope, an instrument with a special lens to magnify the cervical tissues.
A cervical biopsy may be performed to detect cancer of the cervix or precancerous lesions of the cervix. Cells that appear to be abnormal, but are not cancerous at the present time, are identified as precancerous. The appearance of these abnormal cells may be the first evidence of cancer that may develop years later.
A cervical biopsy may also be used to diagnose and assist in the treatment of the following conditions:
There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend a cervical biopsy.
As with any surgical procedure, complications may occur. Some possible complications may include, but are not limited to, the following:
In addition, cone biopsies may increase the risk for infertility (the inability to become pregnant) and miscarriage because of the changes and scarring in the cervix that may occur as a result of the procedure.
Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications, iodine, or latex should notify their physician.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, you should notify your physician. Some types of cervical biopsies can be done during pregnancy, while others cannot.
If possible, a cervical biopsy will be scheduled approximately one week after your menstrual period.
There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.
Certain factors or conditions may interfere with a cervical biopsy. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
A cervical biopsy may be performed in a physician’s office, on an outpatient basis, or as part of your stay in a hospital. Some biopsy procedures only require local anesthesia, while others require a regional or general anesthesia. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your physician’s practices.
Generally, a cervical biopsy follows this process:
The recovery process will vary depending upon the type of biopsy performed and if anesthesia was administered.
If you received regional or general anesthesia, you will be taken to the recovery room for observation. Once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable and you are alert, you will be taken to your hospital room or discharged to your home. If this procedure was performed on an outpatient basis, you should plan to have another person drive you home.
After a simple biopsy, you may rest for a few minutes after the procedure before going home.
You may want to wear a sanitary pad for bleeding. It is normal to have some mild cramping, spotting, and dark or black-colored discharge for several days. The dark discharge is from the medication applied to your cervix to control bleeding.
Take a pain reliever for cramping as recommended by your physician. Aspirin or certain other pain medications may increase the chance of bleeding. Be sure to take only recommended medications.
You may be instructed not to douche, use tampons, or have intercourse for one week after a biopsy procedure, or for a period of time recommended by your physician.
After a cone biopsy, you should not insert anything into your vagina until your cervix has healed, which may take several weeks. You may also have other restrictions on your activity, including no heavy lifting.
You may resume your normal diet unless your physician advises you differently.
Your physician will advise you on when to return for further treatment or care. Generally, women who have had a cervical biopsy will need more frequent Pap tests.
Notify your physician if you have any of the following:
Your physician may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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