Colposcopy

Corpus Christi Women's Clinic

Board Certified OB-GYN & Advanced Nurse Practitioners located in Corpus Christi, TX

If you have a Pap smear that indicates abnormal cellular growth -- a potential sign of cervical cancer -- you may need a colposcopy to examine your cervix and biopsy tissues. The team at Corpus Christi Women's Clinic has extensive experience performing colposcopies. Whether you need to schedule a cervical cancer screening or a colposcopy, call the office in Corpus Christi, Texas, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

Colposcopy Q & A

What is a colposcopy?

A colposcopy is an examination of your cervix using a colposcope. The colposcope, which resembles binoculars on a stand, provides a magnified view of tissues so your provider can identify inflammation and precancerous or cancerous changes.

Your provider at Corpus Christi Women's Clinic places the colposcope just outside your vagina. After swabbing your cervix with a solution that highlights abnormal cells, they visually examine the tissues. During a colposcopy, your provider can also perform a biopsy or remove abnormal tissues.

When is a colposcopy performed?

The team at Corpus Christi Women's Clinic typically performs a colposcopy when you have an abnormal Pap smear. You may also need one if you have abnormal bleeding, an inflamed cervix.

What are some examples of an abnormal Pap smear?

During a Pap smear, your provider removes a small amount of cervical tissue and sends it to a lab where it’s evaluated for abnormal cell growth. When abnormal cells are detected, they’re graded based on their severity. The results of an abnormal Pap smear include:

  • Atypical squamous cells of (undetermined significance (ASCUS): Changes in cervical cells, usually due to an HPV infection
  • Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL): Mildly abnormal changes due to HPV, often resolves on its own
  • High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL): Moderate to severe changes more likely to be associated with precancerous changes or cancer
  • Atypical squamous cells (cannot exclude HSIL): Changes in cells raise concern for a high-grade squamous lesion
  • Atypical glandular cells: Suggests precancerous changes in the upper cervix
  • Carcinoma in Situ (CIS)

Depending on the results of your Pap smear, the team at Corpus Christi Women's Clinic may recommend waiting a few months before having a repeat Pap smear or having a colposcopy to determine the cause of your abnormal test results.

How are abnormal cervical cells treated?

Your provider removes cervical abnormalities using one of the following methods.

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)

During a LEEP procedure, your provider removes thin layers of your cervix using a medical instrument made from a thin wire loop that carries a mild electric current. They may use the same tool to take a biopsy. This procedure can be done in the office.

Conization (Cold Knife cone biopsy or CKC)

Also called a cone biopsy, this procedure removes more cervical tissue to ensure all cancer cells are removed.

Ablative treatments

Two ablative procedures that eliminate precancerous and cancerous tissues include cryotherapy, which freezes the cells, and laser therapy, which destroys cells with heat.

If you need to schedule a Pap smear or colposcopy, call Corpus Christi Women's Clinic or schedule an appointment online.