Colposcopy is a procedure performed using a powerful light source and lenses for a detailed examination of the lower genital area. Let us state that colposcopy is actually the name given to the microscope that provides this examination. The examination is also called "colposcopic examination".
However, the procedure is also known as colposcopy among the people. This procedure is frequently performed to diagnose lesions in the cervix, vagina, vulva and perinal region. However, we can state that this procedure is needed in order to plan the treatment in the most accurate way. We will talk about why colposcopy is performed or whether anesthesia is applied before the procedure. But first, let's review who is doing this.
Who Can Have Colposcopy?
The answer to the question of who can undergo colposcopy actually covers a wide range of patients. Because, if necessary, this procedure can be performed on many patients. The most common situations can be listed as follows:
- The patient's smear test results are not normal
- The patient's HPV test result is positive
- Abnormal smear test result during pregnancy
- Evaluation of existing lesions before starting treatment
Of course, apart from these conditions, a more detailed examination of the lower genital system may be needed for some specific reasons. In this case, colposcopic examination will be used.
How Is Colposcopy Performed?
Women can sometimes think that this procedure is one of the tough examinations. However, even local or general anesthesia is not needed before colposcopic examination. Because the procedure does not cause any pain or ache. We can say that it is not much different from a routine gynecological examination for the patient. The patient is asked to lie on the gynecology examination table on his back. Afterwards, an instrument used in the examination is placed in the vagina area in order to visualize the cervix much more clearly.
The currents in the cervix are cleaned and a special liquid is applied immediately afterwards. Thanks to this liquid, problematic tissues in the cervix take a color close to white. The gynecologist and obstetrician examines these tissues with color change and if necessary, cervical biopsy is performed. In this process, a very small piece of tissue is taken and sent for pathological examination. As a result, we can say that colposcopic examination is completed in a short time and with a very comfortable process for the patient.
Why Is Colposcopy Performed?
Of course, colposcopy procedure is not performed for only one reason. First of all, let us state that this procedure is performed when it is necessary to examine in detail the inflammatory lesions, condylomas (warts), polyps and precancerous lesions. This procedure may also be required before the treatment of the lesions is planned.
Abnormal pap smear tests of the patients during pregnancy or outside of pregnancy are among the reasons for this detailed examination. However, if the HPV test is positive, we can say that colposcopic examination enters the circuit.
We can say that one of the most common types of cancer in women is cervical cancer. As in all types of cancer, early diagnosis is of great importance in cervical cancer. For this reason, even if not in every woman, some patients may need to enlarge the cervix with a colposcope and examine it in more detail. If deemed necessary by the physician, endocervical curettage can be applied and pathological examination can be performed.
Is Colposcopy Performed With Anesthesia?
One of the frequently asked questions is whether or not anesthesia was performed before colposcopy. Anesthesia is absolutely not required before this procedure. Because the procedure does not contain any intervention that may cause distress for the patient. For this reason, local or general anesthesia is not required.
What are the Colposcopy Indications?
We can list the colposcopic examination indications as follows:
- CIN, HSIL, LSIL or cancer
- HPV infection suspected
- Recurrent infection status
- An abnormal appearance in the cervix
When Will The Colposcopy Result Be Determined?
The colposcopy procedure applied to the patient is completed within approximately 30 minutes. If tissue sample is taken from the patient and sent for pathological examination, the time for the result may vary depending on the density in the laboratory. This period can be only 1 day or up to 5 days. For this reason, it would not be correct to talk about a clear time frame.
Is Colposcopy Procedure Painful?
This procedure does not cause pain, and it is because of this that there is no need for anesthesia before the procedure. Sometimes, women may wonder if there is pain after the procedure. We can say that no pain is felt after the colposcopic examination.
However, sometimes it may be necessary to take a tissue sample from the patient after this procedure and undergo pathological examination of this tissue. In this case, a very mild pain sensation may occur. However, we should state that this feeling can also be controlled with the use of pain medication prescribed by the doctor. Because when the tissue sample is taken from the cervix, there is usually no pain. Only a feeling of discomfort may occur.
What Does Colposcopic Biopsy Mean?
In its most general form, colposcopic biopsy is taking a tissue sample from the patient after the colposcopy procedure. The purpose of taking this tissue sample is to send it for pathological examination. In which situations colposcopic biopsy is needed, we can list as follows:
- Observing an abnormal tissue condition during the examination
- ASCUS, CIN 1, CIN 2, CIN 3, LSIL, HSIL or AGUS in the pap smear test applied
- Smear result of patients with HPV not being normal
- Continuous inflammation and infection detection in smear tests
- There is a suspicion of cancer precursor lesion
- New items can also be added to this list. Sometimes, biopsy may be required only if the patient has some complaints.
What is a Cervical Biopsy?
If the tissue sample is taken from the patient's cervix for pathological examination, this is called cervical biopsy. Generally, this procedure is needed if there is a finding of cervical cancer. We can state that cervical biopsy may be required to diagnose cancer at the earliest possible period.
At this point, the most common concern of women is whether the biopsy has damaged the cervix. Of course, this procedure does not cause any damage to the cervix. Therefore, women never need to worry about cervical biopsy.
It should be noted that the piece of tissue taken in the biopsy procedure is extremely small and the cervix area is restored in a short time. Cervical biopsy does not change the probability of pregnancy in women. In other words, it does not prevent pregnancy and is not a procedure that prevents women from having vaginal delivery in the future.
Colposcopy Pathology Results
Taking tissue from the patient after colposcopy and undergoing pathological examination provides access to extremely important data. Let us state that pathology results are generally evaluated as "normal" or "abnormal". If an abnormal situation is not found, it will be sufficient only to perform smear tests regularly and not to disrupt routine examinations. Sometimes it may be necessary to wait for a while and then perform a colposcopic examination again.
How Much Are Colposcopy Prices?
One of the frequently wondered issues is colposcopy prices. However, talking about the price will be misleading for patients. Because we can say that the prices also vary depending on various factors such as which physician is preferred, whether the tissue sample is taken from the patient during the procedure. However, to give an idea, let us state that the prices can vary between 2500 TL and 6000 TL. You can write your questions about colposcopic examination in the comments section.