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Understanding Cervical Changes: A Health Guide for Women

  • Posted: 01/21/2010

Table 4: Treatments for Major Cell Changes


TreatmentWhat It IsWhat To ExpectWhat You Should Do
LEEP
  • A procedure that uses an electrical current passed through a thin wire loop to cut away tissue
  • Provides a tissue sample for the lab to study

This procedure is usually done in your doctor's office and takes only a few minutes.

During
Your doctor will:

  • Put a speculum into your vagina to view the cervix
  • Numb your cervix using a small needle
  • Begin the LEEP when the cervix is numb

After

  • It takes several weeks for the tissue to heal and grow back.
  • You may have mild bleeding and a discharge for several weeks.

Before
You may have less pain and cramping if you take ibuprofen (brand names include Advil ®, Motrin®, and Nuprin®) about an hour before the procedure.

After
It takes several weeks for your cervix to heal. To help prevent infection and bleeding during this time:

  • Do not use tampons.
  • Do not douche.
  • Do not do any heavy lifting.
  • Do not have sex.
Cryotherapy
  • A procedure that uses a special cold probe to freeze abnormal tissue
  • The tip of the probe freezes to the cervix and stays attached while a round piece of tissue is destroyed.

This procedure is usually done in the doctor's office and only takes a few minutes.

During
Your doctor will:

  • Put a speculum into your vagina to view the cervix
  • Insert a special cold probe for about 3 minutes to freeze a controlled amount of tissue
  • Warm the probe after the tissue has been destroyed and remove it from the cervix

After

  • It takes several weeks for your cervix to heal.
  • You may have a watery, brownish discharge for several weeks.

Before
You may have less pain and cramping if you take ibuprofen (brand names include Advil®, Motrin®, and Nuprin®) about an hour before the procedure.

After
It takes several weeks for your cervix to heal. To help prevent infection and bleeding during this time:

  • Do not use tampons.
  • Do not douche.
  • Do not do any heavy lifting.
  • Do not have sex.
Conization
  • Uses a knife or laser to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal
  • The amount of tissue removed depends on the size of the lesion

This procedure is usually done in a hospital.

Before
Your doctor will give you anesthesia before performing the operation.

After
 

  • Stitches are often needed to close the wound.
  • Bleeding may occur.
  • It takes several weeks for your cervix to heal.


 

Before
You may have less pain and cramping if you take acetaminophen (brand names include Tylenol® and Anacin-3®) about an hour before the procedure.

After
It takes several weeks for your cervix to heal. To help prevent infection and bleeding during this time:

  • Do not use tampons.
  • Do not douche.
  • Do not do any heavy lifting.
  • Do not have sex.
Hysterectomy
  • Surgical removal of the uterus, including the cervix
  • This surgery is done in the hospital and usually requires an overnight stay.
  • Your doctor will give you an epidural or anesthesia before performing the surgery.
  • The doctor removes your uterus either through a surgical incision (cut) in your abdomen or through your vagina.
  • You will not be able to become pregnant after having this surgery.

This is major surgery.

You should discuss follow-up care with your doctor.