Colposcopy is a medical diagnostic procedure to examine an illuminated, magnified view of the cervix and the tissues of the vagina and vulva. Many premalignant lesions and malignant lesions in these areas have discernible characteristics which can be detected through the examination. It is done using a colposcope, which provides an enlarged view of the areas, allowing the physician in cases to visually distinguish normal from abnormal appearing tissue and take directed biopsies for further pathological examination. The main goal of a colposcopy is to prevent cervical cancer by detecting precancerous cells early and treating them.
Hysteroscopy: During a hysteroscopy, your healthcare provider uses a hysteroscope(thin, telescope-like instrument) to see inside the uterus. Depending on what is found, treatment may be done during D&C, or later, during a separate procedure. Anesthesia is used during this procedure and depending on your health you may be a candidate to have this procedure done in the office with sedation, otherwise it will be performed in a hospital setting.
Cold Knife Conization
Cold Knife Conization: If your pap test or other tests revealed abnormal cells in your cervix (the lower end of your uterus) your healthcare provider may want to treat you with a Cold Knife Conization. During a cone biopsy, tissue is removed from the cervix and sent to the lab to be studied. During a cone biopsy you will be given anesthesia before your biopsy to keep you comfortable during surgery. Your doctor then puts a thin metal tube(speculum) into the vagina to hold it open. This allows your doctor to see the cervix. Then a cone-shaped piece of tissue is removed from the cervix. The tissue is cut from the opening up into the canal. This may be done with a small knife or with a laser. The tissue that is removed is then sent to the lab. The lab studies the tissue and makes sure the abnormal cells have been cut away. New tissue grows back in the cervix 4-6 weeks.
Dilation and Curettage
Dilation and Curettage D&C: This common procedure helps your healthcare provider learn more about problems inside the uterus. In many cases, D&C is used to find the cause of abnormal bleeding. During a D&C, the cervix (opening of the uterus) is widened. This process is called dilation or dilatation. Tissue samples are then removed from the endometrium (lining of the uterus) with an instrument called a curette. A D&C may be performed either in the office under sedation or in a hospital setting.
LEEP: If your pap test or other tests revealed abnormal cells in your cervix (the lower end of your uterus), you’ll be glad to know that the problem is often easily resolved. Abnormal cell growth, called dysplasia, can be treated. Your doctor can remove dysplasia with LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure). Just as with a Pap test, you’ll place your feet in stirrups and your healthcare provider will insert a speculum(a small, tubelike instrument) into your vagina. You will have the choice of using local anesthetic which numbs your cervix or being put to sleep by sedation. A fine wire loop with a special high-frequency electrical current allows your provider to removal the abnormal tissue from your cervix. To reduce bleeding after the procedure, a medicated solution may be applied to the cervix.