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Colposcopy
Health Guide
What Is A Colposcopy?
Colposcopy is a procedure by which your doctor can view the cervix anc therefore carry out cervical examinations. The colposcope can alos be used to take a chunk of tissue from the cervix for further examination.

How Is It Done?
Your gynaecologist will be able to explain exactly what is done. In summary, you will be asked to lie on a table with your legs in stirrups. An instrument called a speculum is used to direct the colsposcope into and up the vagina to view the cervix. Using fiberoptic technology, the field of vision (what your doctor sees) is illuminated with an intense bright light. Abnormal epithelial tissues (cells lining the cervix) will show up as white, the light also allows your doctor to view the capillary network on the surface (capillaries are small blood vessels).

The cervix is then painted with iodine (this stings for a little while). The iodine will stain the normal cells brown, whereas abnormal cells do not stain at all. This allows your doctor to identify cells or regions that he can snip out using a special set of forceps inserted into the colposcope. These samples are prepared and viewed through a microscope.

Is It Comfortable?
There is some discomfort with colposcopic examination and you may experience some light bleeding after a sample or biopsy is taken. However, this is minimal and the advantages in diagnosis that colposcopy gives your doctor clearly outweighs the disadvantages.

See also

Endoscopy

Laparoscopy

Cystoscopy

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