Colposcopy, Cone Biopsy



Colposcopy is a procedure used to magnify certain areas of the body and help diagnose abnormalities. A vulvar colposcopy typically examines lesions on the vulva and is often used to identify cancer or HPV. The procedure is done with a colposcope, a microscope that can help identify malignant lesions on the vulva. It is usually performed as a follow-up procedure to an abnormal pap smear. The exam itself is similar to a pap smear in that a speculum is inserted and the cervix may be cleaned. The colposcope is then placed to view the area at 10 to 40 times its normal size. If any abnormal cells are noticed, a biopsy of the tissue may be done. A colposcopy is a very safe procedure with few complications. Light bleeding or discharge for up to a week after the exam is normal.

Cone Biopsy

A cone biopsy is an extensive form of a cervical biopsy. It is called a cone biopsy because a cone-shaped wedge of tissue is removed from the cervix and examined under a microscope. A cone biopsy removes abnormal tissue that is high in the cervical canal. A small amount of normal tissue around the cone-shaped wedge of abnormal tissue is also removed so that a margin free of abnormal cells is left in the cervix.

A Cone Biopsy Can:

  • Remove a thin or a thick cone of tissue from the cervix, depending on how much tissue needs to be examined.
  • Be used to diagnose and sometimes to treat abnormal cervical tissue. The abnormal tissue is removed and sent to a lab to be examined.

How it is done

  1. A cone biopsy is usually done as an outpatient procedure (you do not have to spend a night in the hospital).
  2. The hospital or surgery center may send you instructions on how to get ready for your surgery or a nurse may call you with instructions before your surgery.
  3. You will need to take off your clothes below the waist and drape a paper or cloth covering around your waist. You will then lie on your back on an exam table with your feet raised and supported by footrests (stirrups). Your doctor will insert an instrument with curved blades (speculum) into your vagina. The speculum gently spreads apart the vaginal walls, allowing the inside of the vagina and the cervix to be examined.
  4. Medicine that makes you unconscious (general anesthetic) or that makes the entire genital area numb (regional anesthesia, such as a spinal or epidural) may be used.
    A cone biopsy using LEEP may be done in your doctor's office with an injected medicine that numbs the cervix (cervical block). If a cervical block is used, an oral pain medicine or pain medicine given into a vein (intravenous, or IV) may be used in addition to the local anesthetic.

* We would be happy to discuss with you any questions or concerns you might have! Please call us at (516) 439-5300 for a consultation, or to setup an appointment!