Colposcopy is a diagnostic tool to determine the cause of abnormalities found in Pap smears. A Colposcopy is a visual examination of the cervix; it"s a relatively simple and painless procedure, usually performed in your physician's office and lasting approximately 10- 15 minutes.
A Colposcopy seems much like a Pap smear; however, there a few important differences. You are positioned on the examination table as in a Pap smear but, an acetic acid is placed on the cervix, causing the cervical cells to fill with water so light will not pass through them.
We will views your cervix through a colposcope. A colposcope is a large, electric microscope and is positioned approximately 30cm from the vagina.
A bright light on the end of the colposcope makes it possible for your physician to view your cervix.
We will focuses on the areas where no light passes through; he sees any abnormal cervical changes as white areas, the whiter the area, the worse the dysplasia. He also sees, abnormal blood vessel changes through the colposcope; abnormal vascular changes occur in dysplasia and the worse the vascular changes are the worse the dysplasia is. We will able to view the entire abnormal area through the Colposcope, a tissue sample or biopsy is taken from the whitest abnormal areas and sent to the lab for evaluation.
Cryosurgery or a freezing of the abnormal cells is usually performed next, making this a diagnostic/ treatment procedure in one. If your physician, is unable to view the entire abnormal area, as when the abnormal area extends inside the cervix, another procedure such as a Cone biopsy or LEEP procedure is performed.