Having an accurate diagnosis is crucial in ensuring you get the proper treatment. Most gynecological conditions have similar symptoms and you might likely get a wrong diagnosis. However, your chances of your doctor channeling an inappropriate treatment plan are minimal with advanced colposcopy. Your gynecologist will most likely request the procedure to closely evaluate your vulva, vagina, and cervix when your Pap smear test comes out abnormal. Miami advanced colposcopy specialist Peter A Khamvongsa, FACOG, FACS, helps diagnose and treat women experiencing cervical dysplasia or vulvar dystrophies.
Why will your doctor recommend a colposcopy?
Suppose your gynecologist suspects something wrong with your cervix; he may recommend the diagnostic procedure. Other reasons that might make your doctor request colposcopy include:
- Abnormal Pap smear results
- A seemingly abnormal cervix during pelvic exams
- When tests show you have the human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Unexplained bleeding and other cervical or vaginal complications
The professional can also use the procedure to diagnose vaginal warts, vaginal cancer, vulva cancer, and cervical cancer. After a thorough evaluation, your doctor will determine whether you need further tests or not.
How should you prepare for a colposcopy?
There are several suggestions your doctor will recommend before you go for a colposcopy. They include:
- Ensure you are not on your menstrual periods
- Avoid vaginal intercourse a day or two before the process
- Do not use tampons a few days before your procedure
- Do not use vaginal medications within days before the procedures
What should you expect during the procedure?
Just like you position yourself during a pelvic exam, your doctor will advise you to lie on your back, with your feet on supports. He will then place a speculum inside your vagina to hold open your vaginal walls and allow your doctor to see through your cervix. Your gynecologist will then place the colposcope near your vulva and shine a bright light straight into your vagina. The care provider will then assess your vagina through the colposcope’s lens. Your doctor may need to swab your vagina and cervix with cotton to clear mucus before applying vinegar solution or a different solution in the treatment area to check for suspicious cells.
Should your doctor suspect an abnormality, your doctor will use a sharp tool to take a sample of the affected tissue. Your feeling during a biopsy significantly depends on the tissue type your doctor will remove. While a biopsy of your vulva or vagina may cause pain forcing your doctor to administer a local anesthetic to numb your treatment area, a cervical biopsy is not painful though you might feel slight discomfort.
What does an advanced colposcopy entail?
Advanced colposcopy uses technology that incorporates high-digital tools alongside traditional colposcopy. The advanced equipment produces a live image of your abnormal tissue before overlaying a patented DYSIS map to identify potentially affected areas. During your appointment, your doctor will apply a special solution to your cervix, which will result in a whitening effect on the abnormal cells. He will then gather the images and use mapping software to scan the images, highlighting the specific areas with abnormal cells.
Schedule a visit with your doctor for an evaluation of an abnormal Pap smear to get a conclusive diagnosis.