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colposcopy procedure

What is colposcopy?

colposcopy procedure

colposcopy procedure

colposcopy procedure

colposcopy procedure

What is colposcopy?-Colposcopy is a way of looking at the cervix through a special magnifying device called a colposcopy. It shines a light into the vagina and onto the cervix. A colposcopy can greatly enlarge the normal view. This exam allows the health care provider to find problems that cannot be seen by the eye alone.A colposcopy is a microscopic examination of the cervix conducted by a gynecologist in the doctor’s office. A speculum is placed in the vagina and the cervix is cleaned off with a large Q tip of any debris or mucus. The cervix is then painted with saline (salt water) so the doctor can get a good look at the blood vessels on the cervix. Then the cervix is painted with acetic acid (household vinegar) which may cause some temporary vaginal burning.

colposcopy procedure
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We look at the cervix after the application of vinegar with the regular white light of the colposcopy and with a green light filter as well. We pay close attention to any areas on the cervix that turn white after putting on the vinegar, and we also look at blood vessel patterns. Any suspicious or abnormal areas are biopsies. These biopsies are very small and do not harm the cervix at all. They are a little uncomfortable, but most patients do not think they are very painful.

We also take a brief scraping of the inside of the cervix (an endocervical curettage) to make sure that the abnormal pap test cells are not coming from inside the cervix where we cannot see. A thick, brown, pasty substance called monsells solution is applied to the biopsy sites to stop bleeding. Patients usually feel well after the procedure, require no pain meds, drive themselves home, and assume all of their normal activities and exercise.Colposcopy is an examination of the vagina, cervix and vulva with an instrument called a colposcopy.

 

Why colposcopy?

Why is colposcopy performed?-Colposcopy is most commonly performed after a cervical smear which has shown some presence of abnormal cells. A cervical smear is a routine procedure offered to women between 25 and 65 years of age, during which a cell sample is taken from the cervix, and is later examined, in order to detect any changes in the cervix and if any abnormal cells are present.Colposcopy is most commonly performed after a cervical smear which has shown some presence of abnormal cells. A cervical smear is a routine procedure offered to women between 25 and 65 years of age, during which a cell sample is taken from the cervix, and is later examined, in order to detect any changes in the cervix and if any abnormal cells are present.Colposcopy may also be performed if smear results are consistently inadequate, or for other reasons, such as bleeding between periods (inter-menstrual), bleeding experienced after sexual intercourse, or an abnormal or unusual appearance of the cervix.

If the investigation is for abnormal cells, they are generally regarded as being pre-cancerous, which means if they are left untreated, they could become cancerous in the future. However, if the abnormal cells are found at this early stage, the chances of cancer actually developing are very small indeed. They may develop, but usually over a number of years, so they can be treated quickly and easily. Therefore it is important for women to be reassured that there is little need to worry, and in 90% of cases, the pre-cancerous condition is eliminated.

colposcopy procedure?

How colposcopy procedure works?-A colposcopy is an outpatient procedure carried out by a specialist known as a colposcopist, who is usually a doctor or a nurse who has received special training in performing this diagnostic procedure. During the procedure, the patient will be asked to lie down on a special chair with padded leg supports, while a speculum is inserted into the vagina. This device gently opens once inside and allows the practitioner to examine the inside of the cervix with the help of a colposcope, a microscope type device with a light attached to it. This device is used from the outside and does not in any way enter the vagina. Some colposcopes also have a camera attached so images are captured on a monitor in real-time. If there are some abnormal areas, certain solutions may be applied to highlight them. In such cases, the colposcopy is followed by tissue biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. There may be cases, however, where the doctor feels certain about the results of the colposcopy that a biopsy is no longer prescribed; in these cases, the patient will move right on to the treatment process.

There are no preparations required prior to a colposcopy. There is no need to fast and there is usually no need for sedation, as long as a biopsy will not be performed. If a biopsy is required, local or general anesthesia may be needed, and the patient will be asked to refrain from eating for a specific number of hours before the procedure is scheduled to be performed.

The colposcopy may cause some discomfort while the speculum is being inserted and is inside the vagina. If it is followed by a biopsy, the patient will also feel a pinch or scratch when the tissue sample is taken. Although uncomfortable, the procedure is not considered too painful. If a patient finds the procedure too painful, it is best to tell the colposcopist who can prescribe another way to deal with the situation or can decide to stop the colposcopy all together. The whole procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes, but the entire appointment may take up to 30 minutes including the preparation and the discussion.

 


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