The cervix is a muscular structure that sits at the lower, narrow portion of the uterus. It forms a canal that opens into the vagina. A cervical biopsy is a procedure to remove tissue from the cervix to test for abnormal or precancerous conditions, or cervical cancer.
This procedure uses a circular blade attached to the end of a small pen-like device. It will remove a sample piece of cervical tissue. One or more punch biopsies may be done on different areas of the cervix.
This procedure uses a laser or scalpel to remove a large cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix.
Endocervical curettage (ECC):
This procedure uses a narrow instrument called a curette to scrape the lining of the endocervical canal. This is an area that can’t be seen from the outside of the cervix.
Cervical biopsies may be recommended by your healthcare provider when abnormalities are found during a pelvic exam, if abnormal cells are found during a Pap smear, or with a positive test for human papillomavirus (HPV) may also call for cervical biopsy. Cervical biopsies may be performed to find precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, however cervical biopsies are also recommended to diagnose non-cancerous conditions such as:
A cervical biopsy is often done as part of a colposcopy or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP).
Colposcopy is a procedure to closely examine your cervix, vagina and vulva with a special magnifying
device called a colposcope. It shines a light into the vagina and onto the cervix and magnifies images to
allow the healthcare provider to find problems that cannot be seen by the eye alone.
Colposcopy can be used to diagnose:
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a wire loop heated by electric current to remove cells and tissue in a woman’s lower genital tract. It is used as part of the diagnosis and treatment for abnormal or cancerous conditions. With LEEP, an electric current passes through the fine wire loop to cut away a thin layer of abnormal tissue. This tissue will be sent to the lab for testing. LEEP can also remove abnormal cells to allow healthy tissue to grow.
LEEP may also be used to assist in the diagnosis or treatment of the following conditions: