What is a Cervical Biopsy?
The cervix is the opening to the uterus or womb, and is located between the uterus and the vagina. A cervical biopsy is performed as a diagnostic test to detect cancerous or precancerous cells on the cervix. A cervical biopsy may also be performed by your doctor to diagnose other conditions such as a non-cancerous growth (polyp) on the cervix or to detect genital warts.
Types of Cervical Biopsies
Types of cervical biopsies include:
- Punch biopsy: In this procedure a small tissue sample is removed from the cervix using a sharp cutting tool, to check for abnormalities. The tissue cells are then sent to an outside laboratory for further analysis.
- Endocervical curettage (ECC): In this procedure a narrow instrument called a curette is used to scrape tissue from the lining of the endocervical canal to sample an area of the cervix that is not easily visualized.
- Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP): In this procedure, electrocautery is used is used to remove a portion of the cervix to remove severely precancerous areas of the cervix.
- Cone biopsy: This procedure is typically performed in the hospital where a scalpel is used to remove a cone-shaped portion of the cervix to remove precancerous areas of the cervix.
Risks and Complications
Like all invasive procedures, cervical biopsy may be associated with certain risks such as bleeding, infection, and pain.