A Pap test screens for possible signs of cervical cancer, but it can’t provide a conclusive diagnosis. A colposcopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your gynecologist to look for abnormal cells and take a tissue biopsy so you can have an accurate diagnosis. The team of expert physicians at Manhattan Women’s Health and Tribeca Women’s Health have extensive experience performing colposcopy safely. With offices in Tribeca and the Upper East Side of New York City, the team provides personalized care to women at all stages of their lives. To schedule an evaluation, call the clinic nearest you, or make an appointment online today.
A colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure that uses a specialized device called a colposcope, which is affixed with a magnifying lens and a bright light. The colposcope gives your gynecologist an enlarged view of the surface of your cervix.
A colposcopy is most frequently recommended after an abnormal Pap test to look for visual signs of changes in your cervical tissue that may be related to cervical cancer.
If you’ve had an abnormal Pap test, and your provider sees unusual changes in your cervical tissue, they use a sterile instrument to take a cervical tissue sample. This sample is then sent to a laboratory to be examined for cancer markers.
The highly-trained physicians at Manhattan Women’s Health and Tribeca Women’s Health take steps to ensure your procedure is as quick and comfortable as possible. A colposcopy is an in-office procedure; anesthesia isn’t required, but your doctor may recommend you take ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain medicine before your appointment.
You recline on a table with your feet in stirrups, and your gynecologist opens your vagina with a speculum. Next, they apply a solution to your cervix that changes the color of abnormal cells, so they’re easier to see. This solution may cause a burning sensation for a brief amount of time.
Your doctor gently inserts the colposcope into your vagina and examines it for any signs of trouble. If a biopsy is necessary, your doctor quickly scrapes a small amount of tissue from your cervix, then removes the colposcope and speculum to complete the procedure. You may have some mild cramping or bleeding for a few days after your procedure.
A colposcopy is a low-risk procedure, but there is some risk of heavy bleeding, infection, and pelvic pain. Your gynecologist discusses all the risks with you before your colposcopy.
If you’ve had an abnormal Pap smear, or you’d like to learn more about the colposcopy procedure, call Manhattan Women’s Health or Tribeca Women’s Health today, or make an appointment online.