What is a colposcopy?
A colposcopy is a procedure to examine your cervix (neck of the womb). A colposcopy is usually recommended if a smear test has shown there is a problem with the cells in your cervix. (see fig.1).
Are there any alternatives to a colposcopy?
If you have abnormal cells, a colposcopy is the only way of finding out the type of abnormality and how serious the problem is.
What does the procedure involve?
A colposcopy usually takes between ten and twenty minutes.
A colposcopy involves an examination of your cervix. Your gynaecologist can perform biopsies (removing small pieces of tissue) to help make the diagnosis. If your gynaecologist decides it is best to treat the problem straightaway, they will usually perform a LLETZ (large loop excision of the transformation zone). A LLETZ is a minor operation to remove part of the cervix. Other treatments include laser treatment and freezing (cryocautery).
What complications can happen?
- Incomplete removal of the abnormal cells.
How soon will I recover?
A member of the healthcare team will tell you what was found during the colposcopy and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.
You should be able to go home the same day.
You should be able to go back to work and normal activities the day after your colposcopy.
A colposcopy and LLETZ is usually a safe and effective way of finding and treating any problem with your cervix.
Paying for your operation
Colposcopy and LLETZ costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.
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