What is an excisional biopsy of the cervix?
An excisional biopsy of the cervix is a type of procedure. It removes a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of your uterus. It opens into your vagina.
There are a few ways the doctor can remove the tissue. One way is to use a surgical knife called a scalpel. Another way is to use a thin wire loop that's charged with electricity. This is called a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP). Or the doctor can use a laser.
You may be asleep during the procedure. But it is usually done while you are awake. Either way, you will be given medicine to help with pain during the procedure. The doctor removes the tissue through the vagina. The procedure won't leave a scar on the outside of your body.
After the procedure, another doctor will look at the tissue under a microscope. The doctor will check it for abnormal cells.
Most people go home 1 to 4 hours after the procedure. You can probably return to your normal routine in about a week. But be sure to wait to have vaginal sex until your doctor says it's okay.
How do you prepare for the procedure?
This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Preparing for the procedure
- Tell your doctor if:
- You are having your menstrual period.
- You are or might be pregnant. A blood or urine test may be done to see if you are pregnant.
- Ask your doctor if you will need someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
- Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
- If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your procedure. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
- Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
What happens on the day of the procedure?
Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your procedure may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of the procedure, take them with only a sip of water.
At the hospital or surgery center
Bring a picture ID.
You will be kept comfortable and safe by your doctor. You will be given medicine to help with pain during the procedure.
The procedure will take about 1 hour.
When should you call your doctor?
- You have questions or concerns.
- You don't understand how to prepare for your procedure.
- You become ill before the procedure (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
- You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the procedure.
Where can you learn more?
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