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Cone Biopsy


Updated June 09, 2014

What is a cone biopsy?:

A cone biopsy is surgery to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal. Cone biopsy may be used to diagnose or treat a cervical condition. It is also called conization.

Why is a cone biopsy performed?:

A cone biopsy is done if a pap smear or colposcopy indicated moderate to severe cell changes. It is also done to remove abnormal tissue as part of treatment. It can also be used to diagnose cervical cancer and to see how extensive the disease is.

How is the tissue removed?:

The abnormal can be removed by three ways. 1) Surgical scalpel. 2)LEEP (Loop electrosurgical excision procedure. 3)Carbon dioxide laser.

Will I be asleep?:

You will be given some type of anesthesia. Your doctor will discuss what anesthesia will be best for you. Regardless, you may be asked to avoid food for at least 12 hours prior to the surgery.


Risk with a cone biopsy are minimal. There is a very low risk that excessive bleeding will occur that requires a transfusion. Narrowing of the cervix may occur, causing infertility. An incompetent cervix may result, making miscarriages more likely in pregnancy.

What can I expect after the surgery?:

After a cone biopsy, you can expect bleeding for up to a week and spotting and discharge for up to 3 weeks. Avoid tampons and sexual intercourse for three weeks also. Nothing in the vagina is the general rule of thumb.

When should you call the doctor?:

You need to call your doctor persistent pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, and a foul smelling discharge. Also, watch out for a fever, which can indicate infection.
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  6. What Is a Cone Biopsy and When Is It Performed?

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