Cervical biopsy

During a colposcopy, a part of your cervix can be removed for further analysis or treatment

About

A cervical biopsy involves removing tissue from your cervix to test if for cancer. It can also be done to remove abnormal cervical tissue entirely. A cervical biopsy is often carried out as part of a colposcopy, which involves using a colposcope (a telescope) to examine your cervix.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Your consultant surgeon will gently insert a speculum into your vagina to spread the walls of it. They'll then use a colposcope (telescope) to examine the cervix. (The colposcope is not inserted into your vagina.) Your consultant surgeon will then remove a tissue sample or any abnormal tissues using one of the following techniques: Punch biopsy. This involves using a circular blade to remove a tissue sample. Cone biopsy. This uses a laser or scalpel to remove a large cone-shaped tissue sample. Endocervical curettage. This involves scraping the lining of the cervix to take a sample. Your consultant will explain which technique is right for you.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain how to prepare for the procedure. Depending on the nature of your biopsy, you may receive either a local anaesthetic (which will numb the cervical area) or general anaesthetic (which means you'll be asleep). As such, you may be required to limit your food and drink intake in the hours leading up to the procedure. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    Your consultant will explain what happens after the procedure, including when you can get back to your normal routine and when you can expect to attend a follow-up meeting.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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