Overview & Description
A cone biopsy is a surgical procedure that involves taking a large tissuesample from the cervix. The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus andcontains the opening from the uterus to the vagina. The tissue sample is calleda biopsy.
Who is a candidate for the procedure?
A cone biopsy is used to detect cancerof the cervix or precancerous changes. A cone biopsy is usuallydone after a woman has abnormal results from a Pap smear that has been done aspart of apelvic examination. APapsmear is a test in which the provider uses a small spatula and a brush togently scrape cells from the woman’s cervix. These cells are sent to a labfor testing. The Pap smear may show early, abnormal, cancer-like changes in thecervix cells.
How is the procedure performed?
A cone biopsy is generally done under general anesthesia inan operating room.General anesthesia means medications are used to puta person to sleep during a procedure so that no painis felt. A cone-shaped piece of tissue is removed from the cervix with aspecial tool. A pathologist examines the sample under a microscope for abnormalcells that indicate cervical cancer. The procedure often completelyremoves the diseased tissue.
Preparation & Expectations
What happens right after the procedure?
The woman stays in the surgery recovery room until theanesthesia wears off.Shecan usually go home a few hours after the procedure. Someone else must driveher home, because the effects of the anesthesia make it unsafe for her to driveuntil the next day.
Home Care and Complications
What happens later at home?
Some light vaginal bleeding and discharge may be normal for up to one weekaftera cone biopsy. A sanitary pad may be used as needed for bleeding. Sexualintercourse, douching, and tampon use should be avoided for at least one week.This allows the cervix time to heal. There may be slight soreness or discomfortin the vagina for a day or two after the biopsy.
Results from the cone biopsy are usually available within one week. Ifcancer of the cervix is detected, treatment options include furthersurgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biologicalresponse modifiers such as interferon.
What are the potential complications after the procedure?
Complications of a cone biopsy are rare but may include bleeding, infection,and allergic reaction toanesthesia. Any new orworsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.
Article type: xmedgeneral