Women’s health is sometimes complicated and mysterious. Luckily, there are experts like the staff here at Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care who work passionately to help patients understand their health and wellness. A colposcopy procedure is one of the exams used to help find diseases or abnormalities in the female reproductive system. Find out what to expect if your doctor recommends one.
What is a Colposcopy Procedure?
The colposcopy procedure is usually recommended by your doctor if your pap smear comes back with negative results. It allows a physician to have a close look at the cervix and vagina to check for precancerous or abnormal areas in the reproductive system.
How does the exam work?
The colposcopy procedure is performed in your physician’s office. It’s similar to regular gynecologic exam: Your doctor will use a speculum to hold the vagina open for evaluation. The difference is that your doctor will examine the cervix and vagina with an instrument called a colposcope as opposed to the human eye, which is used in regular gynecologic exams. The colposcope can magnify the area and sometimes take pictures for further analysis.
The job of a colposcopy procedure is to identify any possible precancerous conditions in the cervical tissue. The cervix and vagina are swabbed with a dilute acetic acid solution, which is used to highlight abnormal areas. Your doctor may take samples of the tissue for a biopsy if needed. The procedure is usually painless, and no anesthesia is necessary.
When your doctor gives you your colposcopy results, normal results mean the cervix surface is pink and smooth, and abnormal areas showed no indication of cancer. An abnormal or negative result can be further studied by your doctor, or they may start diagnosing a certain cancer or other condition.
Benefits of Getting a Colposcopy
When you receive a colposcopy exam, your doctor will have a better chance of finding cancer early by evaluating the precancerous areas. Doctors can catch cervical cancer, cervical warts and other conditions. Catching these conditions early is the best way for your doctor to create an efficient treatment plan. This is important to the patient because cancers caught early have a higher survival rate.
Learn more about women’s health by scheduling an appointment with Nevada Surgery & Cancer Care. We offer cancer screenings and other consultations to help you stay knowledgeable about your health.