Colposcopy at The UVM Medical Center
Sometimes a Pap test shows an abnormality that requires further examination. An examination, known as a colposcopy, allows a closer look at your cervix by using a magnifying instrument called a colposcope.
This exam helps your provider see any signs of a problem of the cervix, vulva and vagina -- such as genital warts, or abnormal tissues that cannot be seen with the eye alone. If detected early, these problems can be easily treated.
For more than 25 years, The University of Vermont Medical Center's Colposcopy Clinic has provided comprehensive care to women in Vermont and the surrounding region.
Colposcopy Services in Burlington, VT
The weekly Colposcopy Service sees women who have had an abnormal pap smear , for HPV and for condylomata. Procedures include colposcopy, Loops and Leeps.
What Happens during a Colposcopy?
Colposcopy takes 15-30 minutes. It is performed in the clinic on a day when you are not having your menstrual period. As done during a Pap test, a speculum is placed in your vagina to see the cervix. Then a vinegar-like solution is applied to the cervix. This causes any abnormal areas to turn white. You may feel a slight burning or pressure for a moment. Your provider then views your cervix through a colposcope, which is placed outside the vagina. If there are any abnormal areas on the cervix, a tiny sample (biopsy) of tissues maybe taken and sent to the lab or a closer study.
You may feel a little pinching or cramping during biopsy. Sometimes the area just inside the opening to the cervix cannot be seen clearly. Then a sample may be gently scraped from inside the cervix and sent to the lab.
Your provider will get the lab report in a week. The results may show that you need no treatment. If some cells are not normal, you may need a procedure to remove or destroy these cells. Whether or not you need treatment, you will need regular Pap tests and a pelvic exam in the future. These will help make sure any problem has cleared up and that other problems have not occurred.
Each year over 600 patients are seen at the Colposcopy Clinic. As a teaching hospital, The UVM Medical Center's resident physicians regularly work along side the clinic staff to provide care.