Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is colposcopy?
- Why is colposcopy done?
- How is colposcopy done?
- What special tests are done during colposcopy?
- Acetic acid wash
- Use of color filters
- Biopsy of the cervix
- Based on the colposcopy results, what is the approach to treating cervical abnormalities?
- What should one expect from each of the treatments for cervical abnormalities?
- Carbon dioxide laser photoablation
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure
- Cold knife cone biopsy
- Colposcopy At A Glance
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. This operation is used to treat virtually all cases of invasive cervical cancer. Sometimes, a hysterectomy is done to treat severe dysplasia. It is also used if dysplasia recurs after any of the other treatment procedures.
Colposcopy at a Glance
- Colposcopy is a procedure used by physicians physicians that provides a magnified and illuminated view of the vulva, vaginal walls, and uterine cervix.
- This procedure is often done to evaluate an abnormal
appearing cervix or an abnormal Pap smear result.
- Special tests are done during colposcopy, including
acetic acid wash, use of color filters, and sampling (biopsy) of tissues.
- Cervical abnormalities include pre-cancer (dysplasia),
which can be mild, moderate, or severe, and cancer.
- The type of treatment procedure chosen by the
physician depends on the severity of the cervical abnormality, which is
determined by analysis of the colposcopy biopsy sample.
- The treatments for cervical abnormalities include the
destruction (ablation) procedures -- cryocautery and carbon dioxide laser --
and the removal (resection) procedures -- loop electrosurgical excision
procedure (LEEP), cold knife conization, and hysterectomy.
- In general, the destruction procedures are done for
the milder cervical abnormalities, while the removal procedures are done for
the more severe ones.
- Except for hysterectomy, which is almost always used for invasive cancer and is
rarely used for dysplasia, the treatments are all safe enough to be performed in
the doctor's office.
Last Editorial Review: 10/17/2008
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.