A Colposcopy Overview: How to Prepare and What to Expect Get in touch: (305) email@example.com www.miamiobgyns.com
Introduction So your pap smear results came back “abnormal” What now? Your doctor will likely follow up by making an appointment for a diagnostic exam called a colposcopy.
What does an abnormal pap smear mean? An abnormal pap smear simply means there are changes to the cells in your cervix. It is very important to follow up and determine results for proper treatment.
What does an abnormal pap smear mean? If left untreated, pre-cancerous changes could develop into cervical cancer and as you know, early detection and treatment means a higher chance of survival. A colposcopy exam will clarify what’s going on and help determine your next steps.
What is a colposcopy? A colposcopy is a procedure which provides a magnified view of your cervix, vaginal tissues, and vulvar areas. Using a colposcope (the instrument used during the procedure) as well as applying a vinegar solution to your cervix, your doctor will be able to determine if you need a cervical biopsy.
Preparing for your colposcopy: Talk to your doctor about what to expect during the exam. Additionally, some patients find the following to be helpful preparatory steps: • Ask a friend or family member to accompany you for support.
Preparing for your colposcopy: • While waiting for your appointment keep a list of any questions or concerns that may creep into your mind. • Though the procedure doesn’t necessarily “hurt” some women find some level of discomfort and/or pain, especially if a biopsy is needed.
Preparing for your colposcopy: • In some cases women bleed during and/or after the procedure, so bring your preferred tampon or pad to your appointment.
What to expect during the procedure: You’ll lie down on a table with your legs in stirrups, just like you do for the pap smear procedure, and a speculum is used to view your cervix easily.
What to expect during the procedure: We then apply a vinegar solutions to your cervix, and abnormal cells will change colors, signifying to the practitioner whether you need a biopsy. If so, the biopsy will be sent to a pathologist who returns a report within 7 days.
What can be determined from this procedure? The colposcopy exam will determine if a biopsy is needed. Biopsy results are classified as follows: CIN I: Mild dysplasia (abnormal cells) CIN II: Moderate dysplasia CIN III: Severe dysplasia, carcinoma in-situ Cervical cancer
What can bedetermined from this procedure? In most cases, anything abnormal simply means that we monitor you closer. Sometimes, we perform a procedure to remove the abnormal cells, called a LEEP.
Aftercare and follow-up steps: For a few days after the colposcopy, you might experience mild bleeding and/or a black, coffee-grind looking vaginal discharge. This is from a medication used during the colposcopy.
Conclusion If your pap-smear results are abnormal, a colposcopy is the best and easiest way to assess next steps.
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