Christie Clinic - Medicine for Your Life

Our website is currently having technical difficulties. To view the site, please click here

Health Encyclopedia

Health Encyclopedia

An invaluable resource of health information.

Cervical biopsy

A cervical biopsy is a test in which tissue samples are taken from the cervix and examined for disease or other problems.

See also: Colposcopy-directed biopsy

  • Alternative Names

    Cervical punch biopsy; Biopsy - cervical punch; Biopsy of the cervix

  • How the test is performed

    You will lie on your back with your feet in stirrups. As in a regular pelvic examination, an instrument (speculum) will hold the vaginal canal open for the doctor to look inside. It will be inserted into the vagina and opened slightly so that the cervix is visible.

    The health care provider will place a small low-power microscope (colposcope) at the opening of the vagina and cervix to examine the area. The colposcope magnifies the surface of the vagina and cervix.

    The cervix is swabbed with a vinegar solution (acetic acid), which removes the mucus to help highlight abnormal areas. Photographs may be taken.

    Another method is the Schiller's test, which uses an iodine solution to stain the cervix. The stain is inserted through the speculum. The iodine solution stains the normal portions of the cervix, but does not stain abnormal tissues.

    If the health care provider finds abnormal tissue, a sample (biopsy) may be taken using a small biopsy forceps or large needle. More than one sample may be taken.

    Cells from the cervical canal may be used as samples as well. This is called an endocervical curettage or biopsy (ECC), and it may further help find abnormal cervical cells. When the procedure is done, the health care provider will remove all of the instruments.

  • How to prepare for the test

    There is no special preparation. Before the procedure, you should empty your bladder and bowel for your comfort. Do not douche or have sexual intercourse for 24 hours before the exam.

  • How the test will feel

    A colposcopy is painless. The biopsy may feel like a pinch each time a tissue sample is taken. You may have some cramping after the biopsy.

    Many women tend to hold their breath during pelvic procedures because they expect pain. Taking a few slow, deep breaths can help you relax and reduce pain or cramping during the biopsy.

  • Why the test is performed

    A cervical biopsy is usually done when the health care provider sees an abnormal area on the cervix during a routine pelvic examination. The biopsy can be done if the abnormal area is big enough for the health care provider to see. A colposcopy may be needed for small abnormal areas, or if a Pap smear is abnormal.

  • Normal Values

    A specialist called a pathologist will examine the tissue sample from the cervical biopsy and will report to your doctor whether the cells appear normal or abnormal.

  • What abnormal results mean

    Abnormal biopsy results may indicate problems, such as:

    • Abnormal tissue or cell growth in the cervix (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia)
    • Cancer

    Colposcopy may be used to keep track of precancerous cells and look for abnormalities that come back after treatment. Problems that may be biopsied or monitored include:

    • Abnormal patterns in the blood vessels
    • Areas that are swollen, worn away, or wasted away (atrophic)
    • Whitish patches on the cervix

    Other findings may be signs of cervical polyps.

  • What the risks are

    You may have some bleeding after the biopsy for up to 1 week. If bleeding is very heavy or lasts for longer than 2 weeks, or if you notice any signs of infection (fever, foul odor, or discharge), call your health care provider.

  • Special considerations

    If the examination or biopsy does not show why the Pap smear was abnormal, your health care provider may suggest that you have a more extensive biopsy.

    To allow the cervix to heal, for 1 week after the biopsy avoid:

    • Douching
    • Sexual intercourse
    • Using tampons

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.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com
Christie Clinic at the Family Medical Center in Paris
727 East Court Street Paris, IL 61944 Dermatology: 366-1248; Vein and Vascular: 366-2670
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on University Photo Christie Clinic on University
101 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 Main Phone: (217) 366-1200
Billing Services: (217) 366-1382
Toll Free: (888) 391-0412
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care
1801 West Windsor Road Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 366-8000
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant Photo Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant
1400 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 366-1200
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Rantoul Photo Christie Clinic in Rantoul
209 West Borman Drive Rantoul, IL 61866 (217) 892-9671
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Mahomet/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Mahomet/Convenient Care
1001 Commercial Drive Mahomet, IL 61853 Main Number: (217) 586-6600 Convenient Care: (217)366-8130
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Danville on Vermilion/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Danville on Vermilion/Convenient Care
3545 North Vermilion Street Danville, IL 61832 (217) 442-8611
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Tuscola Photo Christie Clinic in Tuscola
300 North Main Street Tuscola, IL 61953 (217) 253-9258
Christie Clinic CU Sleep Photo CU Sleep
1207 South Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 355-1684
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic Cancer Center Photo Christie Clinic Cancer Center
109 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 366-5180
Christie Clinic Convenient Care in County Market (Kirby & Duncan) Photo Convenient Care in County Market (Kirby & Duncan)
2901 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 366-8130
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Urbana/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Urbana/Convenient Care
1710 East Windsor Road Urbana, IL 61802 (217) 344-9440
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Danville on Logan Photo Christie Clinic in Danville on Logan
800 North Logan Avenue Danville, IL 61832 (217) 431-8930
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on Fox Drive Photo Christie Clinic on Fox Drive
2110 Fox Drive, Suite B Champaign, IL 61820
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Monticello at Kirby Medical Group Specialty Clinic Photo Christie Clinic in Monticello at Kirby Medical Group Specialty Clinic
1109 B North State Street Monticello, IL 61856 (217) 366-1304
Gibson Area Hospital
1120 N Melvin Gibson City, IL 60936 (217) 784-2240
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Mattoon Photo Christie Clinic in Mattoon
105 B Professional Plaza Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 345-3000
Christie Clinic Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System Photo Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System
1000 Health Center Drive Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 258-2588
Christie Clinic The Champaign SurgiCenter Photo The Champaign SurgiCenter
1702 S. Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 326-2030
Christie Clinic The Carle Foundation Hospital Photo The Carle Foundation Hospital
611 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 383-3311
Iroquois Memorial Hospital
200 E. Fairman Ave. Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 432-5841
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Savoy Photo Christie Clinic in Savoy
501 North Dunlap Avenue Savoy, IL 61874 Transformations: (217) 366-7460 Internal Medicine: (217) 366-5434 Ophthalmology: (217) 366-1250
Christie Clinic on West Park Street
1405 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 217-366-1237
Christie Clinic in Monticello
107 West Main Street Monticello, IL 61856 217.762.3352
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Decatur Photo Christie Clinic in Decatur
100 South Water Street Suite 103 Decatur, IL 62523 217-362-0661- telephone