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Cold knife cone biopsy
A cold knife cone biopsy is a procedure to get a sample of abnormal tissue from the cervix for further examination.
- Alternative Names
Cone biopsy; Biopsy - cone; Cervical conization
- How the test is performed
This is a surgical procedure. It is done in the hospital while you are either sedated through an IV or general anesthesia. The purpose of this procedure is to diagnose and treat precancerous changes in the cervix.
A small cone-shaped sample of tissue is removed from the cervix and examined under a microscope for any signs of cancer. This biopsy may also be the treatment if the doctor removes all of the diseased tissue.
- How to prepare for the test
As with any procedure that is done under anesthesia, you will probably need to fast for 6 - 8 hours. You must sign an informed consent form. The procedure is done on the same day (outpatient) and a hospital stay is usually not needed.
- How the test will feel
After the procedure, you may have some cramping or discomfort for a week or so. For about 4 - 6 weeks avoid:
- Sexual intercourse
- Using tampons
For 2 - 3 weeks after the procedure, you may have discharge that is:
- Why the test is performed
This test is only done if the health care provider knows or suspects that you have abnormal cells in the cervix.
It may be done if a biopsy of the cervix shows that you may have precancerous cells in the area or cervical cancer. A cold knife biopsy may also be done if a cervical biopsy cannot find the cause of an abnormal Pap smear.
- Normal Values
There are no precancerous or cancerous cells in the cervix.
- What abnormal results mean
Most often, abnormal results mean that there is an area of precancerous or cancerous cells.
- What the risks are
- Incompetent cervix (which may lead to premature delivery)
- Scarring of the cervix (which may cause painful menstrual periods, make it more difficult for doctors to read an abnormal Pap smear, and make it harder to become pregnant)
Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM. Comprehensive Gynecology. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby; 2007.
Review Date: 2/19/2008
Reviewed By: Peter Chen, MD, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.