Cone Biopsy

Definition - What does Cone Biopsy mean?

Cone biopsy is a procedure that removes a piece of tissue from the cervix for examination. The procedure is performed when abnormal cell growth has been identified in the cervix, and the results can identify the severity of the situation and guide treatment options. The procedure increases the chance of complications that could endanger future pregnancies.

A cone biopsy is an advanced type of cervical biopsy and may also be called conization.

FertilitySmarts explains Cone Biopsy

The cervix is a small organ that divides the vagina from the uterus. It is responsible for secreting mucus, known as vaginal discharge, and aids the reproductive system during times of fertility and ovulation. Abnormal cell development in the cervix is called cervical dysplasia, and may indicate the presence of cancer.

When a Pap test indicates significant cell changes are present, the next course of action may be a procedure called a colposcopy. If the colposcopy is not able to determine the cause or source of the abnormalities, a cone biopsy may be advised.

A cone biopsy is an outpatient procedure, typically conducted in an office, clinic or hospital. During the surgery, numbing medication or general anesthesia is provided. The cervix is accessed through the vagina, and a cone shape piece of tissue is removed from the cervical surface. The tissue sample is sent to a lab where testing is conducted to determine the cause and significance of the abnormalities.

The risks of a cone biopsy may complicate or challenge future conception. Complications include:

  • Incompetent cervix
  • Prolonged vaginal bleeding
  • Bladder or rectum damage
  • Cervical scarring
  • Increased risk of future miscarriage
  • Increased risk of future preterm delivery
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