A colposcopy is a procedure that allows Dr. Brathwaite to get an up-close view of your cervix, the opening to your uterus. This safe procedure plays an important role in the early detection of cervical cancer.
She uses a colposcopy to check for signs of disease if your Pap test comes back from the lab with abnormal results. Using a colposcopy, Dr. Brathwaite can look for precancerous changes to your cervix.
If she finds an area of abnormal-looking tissue, Dr. Brathwaite may remove a small sample for lab testing (biopsy) during the colposcopy procedure. This helps her identify precancerous cells and remove them before they develop into cervical cancer and cause symptoms.
In addition to providing more information about abnormal Pap test results, a colposcopy helps Dr. Brathwaite evaluate several other gynecological problems, including:
Dr. Brathwaite may also use a colposcopy to check the results of a treatment, such as a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).
First, Dr. Brathwaite reviews your medical history to make sure a colposcopy is right for you. She also spends time answering any questions you may have so you can feel confident going into the procedure.
It’s normal to feel nervous before a colposcopy. However, this is a safe and low-risk procedure that feels easier if you can relax. It may be helpful to practice deep breathing or other exercises to help you relax during the procedure.
Colposcopies typically last 10-20 minutes and happen right in the office. Dr. Brathwaite positions a magnifying instrument (colposcope) near your vaginal opening and looks through the lens. She may swab your cervix with a vinegar solution to highlight areas of abnormal cells.
If she finds an area that looks suspicious, Dr. Brathwaite may remove a small sample with a biopsy tool. Depending on the biopsy location, she may numb the area with a local anesthetic first.
Colposcopies that don’t involve a biopsy are painless. If you had a biopsy, you may experience some pain, discomfort, or light bleeding (spotting) for a day or two.
To learn more about colposcopies, call the office of Innovative Women’s Care or book an appointment online today.