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Biopsies

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Many women have a gynecologic biopsy at some point in their lives for one reason or another. There are any number of reasons abnormal cells present themselves—HPV, cervical cancer, non-cancerous polyps and the list goes on, as does life! The types of biopsies that Dr. Constant-Peter can perform as part of their gynecologic and well-woman care are as follows:

Cervical Biopsies or Colposcopies

A colposcopy is a special way of looking at the cervix. It uses a light and a low-powered microscope to make the cervix appear much larger. This helps your health care provider find and then biopsy abnormal areas in your cervix. If any areas look abnormal, a small sample of the tissue will be removed using small biopsy tools. Many samples may be taken. Sometimes a tissue sample from inside the cervix is removed. This is called endocervical curettage (ECC).

So, why would I get a colposcopy?

If your routine Pap Test or Pap Smear comes back with abnormal results, meaning that the cervical cells show signs of cell growth that could present a problem. You see, a colposcopy is done to detect cervical cancer and changes that may lead to cervical cancer.

It is most often done when you have had an abnormal Pap smear. It may also be recommended if you have bleeding after sexual intercourse.

Colposcopy may also be done if abnormal areas are present on your cervix during a pelvic exam. These may include:

  • Any abnormal growth on the cervix, or elsewhere in the vagina
  • Genital warts or HPV
  • Irritation or inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis)

The colposcopy may be used to keep track of HPV, and to look for abnormal changes that can come back after treatment.

If you have had an abnormal Pap Smear in the past and would like to learn more about getting a colposcopy by Dr. Constant-Peter at Family & Women’s Health at Avalon Park, please contact us.

Endometrial Biopsy

Endometrial biopsy is a procedure in which Dr. Constant-Peter takes a tissue sample from the lining of the uterus (endometrium), and examines it under a microscope for any abnormal cells or signs of cancer.

Prior to the endometrial biopsy, our physician will perform a pelvic exam and examine the cervix. The cervix is cleaned with an antiseptic liquid and then grasped with an instrument (tenaculum) to hold the uterus steady. Gentle suction removes a sample of the lining. The tissue sample and instruments are removed. A specialist called a pathologist examines the sample under a microscope.

Our doctor may recommend an endometrial biopsy if you have had any of the following:

  • Abnormal bleeding from taking the breast cancer medication, tamoxifen
  • Abnormal menstrual periods (heavy, prolonged or irregular bleeding)
  • Anovulatory bleeding
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding from taking hormone therapy medications
  • Difficulties becoming pregnant
  • Menstrual changes over the age of 35
  • Thickened uterine lining seen on ultrasound

Endometrial Biopsy Results Could Indicate

  • Endometrial cancer or pre-cancer (hyperplasia)
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Uterine polyps
  • Infection
  • Hormone imbalance

If you present with symptoms that may lead to an endometrial biopsy and want to know more about the procedure, please call Family & Women’s Health in Avalon Park, 407.303.5204 or visit our contact page.

Polypectomy

Cervical polypectomy is a procedure Dr. Harman will perform to remove small tumors (polyps), often growing on a stalk, from the opening of the cervix or inside the cervical canal (endocervix). Although most polyps are benign (non-cancerous), all should be removed and examined because cancerous (malignant) changes may develop; some cervical cancers first appear as polyps.

Your physician will explain that cervical polyps are caused by an overgrowth of normal tissue. They are relatively common and most do not cause symptoms. However, cervical polyps are frequently the result of infection, and may be linked to chronic inflammation, an abnormal response to higher levels of estrogen, or local congestion of cervical blood vessels.

Cervical polyps do not usually cause symptoms. Some individuals may experience light bleeding or spotting caused by irritation from a tampon or sexual intercourse (postcoital bleeding). Polyps are generally removed because of this bleeding, or to prevent additional future irritation and bleeding.

If you have had bleeding or vaginal irritation and suspect polyps, Dr. Constant-Peter might recommend a polypectomy. For more information about polypectomies performed at Family & Women’s Health in Avalon Park, contact us.