Cone biopsy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure in which a cone-shaped section of tissue is removed from the cervix. It can be used to excise localised cervical cancers that are identified at an early stage, or to treat areas of abnormal cells to prevent cancer developing. The Colposcopy Unit can arrange private cone-biopsy treatment by an experienced and accredited gynaecological surgeon.
What is a cone biopsy
Cone biopsy is the selective excision of a cone of tissue from the cervix. The area is identified precisely so that any cancerous or pre-cancerous cells are removed within the cone.
The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic, so you will be asleep for the operation. The Colposcopy Unit will provide specific pre-operative instructions, but you will usually be asked not to eat or drink on the day of the procedure.
Your gynaecological surgeon will carefully remove a cone of tissue from the cervix and send it away for laboratory analysis.
After the procedure, you will be allowed time to recover. Some women are able to go home the same day but others may need to rest and recover in the clinic overnight.
Is a cone biopsy safe?
Cone biopsy is usually a very straightforward and safe operation. Mr Thomas Ind and The Colposcopy Unit’s expert team work to support your recovery and reduce the risk of complications. However, problems can happen following any surgical procedure, with cone biopsy these can include:
- Bleeding: Some blood loss is normal following cone biopsy. This is usually no heavier than a period, but occasionally can be significant and require blood transfusion.
- Infection: The natural bacteria in the vagina can infect the wounds left by the surgery. This can lead to a smelly discharge, pelvic pain and heavy bleeding following the biopsy.
- Problems with future pregnancies: Fertility is maintained following cone biopsy. However, the procedure can occasionally lead to problems in future pregnancies. There may be a slightly increased risk of premature birth and late miscarriages, especially if a large amount of tissue had to be removed.
Mr Ind will talk you through the potential pros and cons of treatment and address all your worries and concerns.
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