It’s impossible not to feel anxious when you hear that a Pap test came back with abnormal results, but you can rely on the team at Martin, Lee & Page OBGYN for support as you take the next step: a colposcopy. During the colposcopy, your doctor identifies potential problems and takes a biopsy for a definitive diagnosis. Women of Memphis, Tennessee, receive compassionate and confident care when they make an appointment at Martin, Lee & Page OBGYN. Call today or use the online booking agent to get answers about your cervical health.
A colposcopy is a procedure to examine your cervix and vagina using a medical device called a colposcope. The colposcope brightly illuminates and magnifies the area being examined, which makes it easier to see changes in tissues, identify abnormal cells, and take a biopsy, if needed.
Your doctor at Martin, Lee & Page OBGYN may perform a colposcopy if a Pap test or cervical exam revealed:
Several tests can be done during a colposcopy to help your doctor identify potential problems:
Acetic acid wash
When the cervix is brushed with acetic acid, abnormal cells turn white, which helps your doctor identify any problem areas.
During a colposcopy, your doctor may apply filters to the colposcope that help them detect changes in small blood vessels that often develop as a result of precancerous changes.
If any abnormalities are suspected, your doctor may perform a biopsy during the colposcopy, removing a sample of tissue from abnormal areas, which will then be examined under a microscope.
Cervical biopsies can be done several ways, using a laser, scalpel, or a punch instrument to remove a piece of tissue. In some cases, an instrument called a curette may be used to simply scrape tissue from your cervix.
A colposcopy begins just like a regular pelvic exam, with a speculum used to open the vagina and enable your doctor to examine your cervix. The colposcope is positioned near the opening of the vagina but without touching you, then your doctor apples the acetic acid wash, visually examines your cervix, and performs a biopsy if necessary.
The entire procedure typically takes about 15 minutes and usually doesn’t cause any discomfort.
The expert staff at Martin, Lee & Page OBGYN have extensive experience performing colposcopies and understand the stress and anxiety caused by even the mention of cancer or other gynecologic problems. Please reach out with any questions; the staff always offers support.