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Definition  

Cervical conization is done to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix. The cervix is located at the top of the vagina and is the entryway into the uterus (womb).

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Reasons for Procedure  

A cervical conization is used to diagnose and to treat cervical cancer or precancerous changes in the cervix. The procedure takes place after a woman has had abnormal Pap smears. Pap smears are screening tests to detect abnormal, pre-cancerous, and cancerous cells in the cervix.

Cervix with Precancerous Growth  
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Possible Complications  

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a cervical conization, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Premature delivery with future pregnancies
  • Scarring of the cervix

Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
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What to Expect  

Prior to Procedure  

Do not eat or drink anything for 8 hours prior to the procedure.

Anesthesia  

You will be given some type of anesthesia. These options include:

  • Local anesthetic—The area will be numbed. IV sedation may also be given to help you relax.
  • Regional anesthesia (epidural, spinal)—The lower half of the body will be numb.
  • General anesthesia—You will be asleep.

Description of the Procedure  

A speculum will be inserted into the vagina, similar to a Pap smear. It will hold your vagina open and allow instruments to pass easier. A knife, laser, or heated loop will be used to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix. If there are abnormal cells, they will also be removed. Self-absorbable sutures may be placed in the cervix to control bleeding.

The tissue will be sent to a lab to test for cancer. The test results will be available within a week.

How Long Will It Take?  

The procedure will take less than an hour.

How Much Will It Hurt?  

Anesthesia will prevent pain during this procedure. After the procedure, you may have some discomfort. You can take pain relievers to help manage any discomfort.