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.

Colposcopy - directed biopsy

A colposcopy-directed biopsy uses a low-powered microscope called a colposcope to help view the surface of the cervix and show abnormalities.

  • Alternative Names

    Biopsy - colposcopy-directed

  • How the test is performed

    You will lie on a table and place your feet in stirrups to position your pelvis for examination. The health care provider will insert an instrument (speculum) into your vagina to open the vaginal canal and examine the cervix.

    The cervix and vagina are gently swabbed with a chemical solution (acetic acid) to remove the mucus that covers the surface, and to highlight abnormal areas. Sometime an iodine-based solution (Lugol's) similar to solutions used for cleaning skin may also be swabbed on the cervix and vagina.

    The health care provider will place the colposcope at the opening of the vagina and examine the area. Photographs may be taken. The colposcope does not touch you.

    If any areas look abnormal, a small sample of the tissue will be removed (biopsy) using small biopsy forceps. Many samples may be taken, depending on the size and location of the area. Sometimes a tissue sample from inside the cervix is removed. This is called curettage.

  • How to prepare for the test

    There is no special preparation. You may be more comfortable if you empty your bladder and bowel before the procedure. You should not douche, place any products into the vagina, or have sexual intercourse for 24 hours before the exam. You should not be menstruating.

  • How the test will feel

    The placement of the instrument (speculum) to better see the cervix may be more uncomfortable than for a regular Pap smear.

    Some women feel a slight sting from the vinegar or Lugol's solution.

    The biopsy or curettage may feel like a pinch each time a tissue sample is taken. You may have some cramping or slight bleeding after the biopsy. Heavy bleeding is unusual; if you have bleeding that soaks a pad in an hour, call your doctor.

    It is typical for women to hold their breath during pelvic procedures because they expect pain. Concentrating on slow, regular breathing will help you relax and help relieve pain. Ask your doctor or nurse about brining a support person with you if that will help.

  • Why the test is performed

    This procedure is usually done after a positive Pap smear to identify the abnormality.

  • Normal Values

    A smooth, pink surface of the cervix is normal. A biopsy is only done when the health care provider sees or suspects abnormal tissues because of abnormal Pap smear results.

  • What abnormal results mean

    Abnormal findings during a colposcopy include:

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

    Any of these problems may be signs of:

    The colposcopy may be used to keep track of HPV, and to look for abnormalities that come back after treatment.

  • What the risks are

    After the biopsy, you may have some bleeding for up to a week.

    Call your health care provider if:

    • Bleeding is very heavy or lasts for longer than 2 weeks.
    • You notice any signs of infection (fever, foul odor, or discharge).
  • Special considerations

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

    See also: Cold knife cone biopsy

  • References

    Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby; 2007.

Review Date: 8/21/2009

Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Peter Chen, MD, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (2/19/2008).

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