Colposcopy and Biopsy
Colposcopy is a procedure done to closely examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva for abnormalities. This procedure is performed if there are abnormalities found during the physical examination or abnormalities encountered during a pap smear or HPV screening. A colposcope is used to magnify the areas in question and if necessary, a biopsy is obtained. The biopsies are generally very small and local anesthesia may not be required. After the evaluation of the biopsies by a pathologist, a treatment plan will be presented to the patient.
These are some of the conditions that are evaluated by colposcopy:
- Genital warts
- Inflammation of the cervix
- Precancerous changes of the cervix
- Precancerous changes of the vagina
- Precancerous changes of the vulva
Cryosurgery can be used for the treatment of superficial abnormalities of the cervix. A small metal disk is chilled with compressed gas and placed on the cervix to freeze the outer layer of abnormal cells causing their death. The cervix does not have many pain receptors and this procedure is generally performed without anesthesia and the patient may experience some mild cramps. Following the procedure, watery discharge may be encountered as the cervix heals.
A sonohysterogram is a procedure used to evaluate the interior cavity of the uterus. This may be done to evaluate abnormal uterine bleeding or during fertility evaluation. A small catheter is placed into the uterus and saline is used to “inflate” the uterus while sonography is performed. Any abnormalities of the uterine cavity can be better evaluated because of the silhouetting that occurs.
A hysteroscopy is the examination of the uterus from the inside with a camera. This method differs from a sonohysterogram as it is a direct visualization of the interior of the uterus. Although this procedure is more invasive than a sonohysterogram, it may be necessary when direct visualization of the area and a biopsy are required. It is sometimes performed with anesthesia. Other procedures may be performed during the hysteroscopy including an endometrial biopsy, ablation, or removal of abnormal uterine growths such as polyps or fibroids.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure performed to treat excessive menstrual bleeding once precancerous conditions are ruled out. A small device is placed into the uterine cavity and the lining of the uterus (what causes the menstrual flow) is “ablated”. There is minimal downtime after the procedure, and it can be done with local anesthesia or IV sedation. This is a very safe procedure that can provide satisfactory resolution of heavy bleeding without a hysterectomy or other medical management.
Electrosurgical excision or LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) is performed when a more significant precancerous lesion is found on the cervix following a colposcopy. A small loop of wire attached to an electrode is used to excise the abnormal portion of the cervix under local anesthesia. This specimen is sent to a pathologist for evaluation and following this, a final treatment plan is rendered.
Other In-Office Procedures Offered
Capital Women’s Care offers many more in-office procedures for the treatment of women’s health. Some of these procedures include:
Skin Tag and Lesion Removal
Skin tags and moles can be removed in your doctor’s office with local anesthesia. While this is usually done by a dermatologist, it is preferred that gynecologists remove any moles that occur around the vagina and vulva.
Schedule an Appointment with Capital Women’s Care Today
For quality, convenient care when it comes to in-office procedures, contact Capital Women’s Care for an appointment today.