ZocdocAnswersWhat is a coloscopy?

Question

What is a coloscopy?

My pap came back abnormal and want a second opinion, therefore the coloscopy.

Answer

I suggest discussing any concerns you have with your OB GYN. Colposcopy is a simple procedure which is often used as a way to follow up on an abnormal pap smear. Basically, the procedure involves examining the cervix under a magnifying lens, which allows your doctor to look for any areas that might be particularly concerning for precancerous or cancerous spots on the cervix. Sometimes, a chemical called acetic acid (basically just strong vinegar) is squirted onto that cervix, while your doctor is looking with the magnifying lens, as this will often make any abnormal areas turn white and be more obvious. If there is a particular area of concern, your doctor will often take a biopsy of that area to look more closely for signs of cancer. In terms of what you can expect as a patient, the colposcopy is quite similar to getting a pap smear done. It requires you to lie on your back with your feet in the stirrups, just like a pap smear. A speculum is also inserted into the vagina, and then your doctor will use the magnifying lens to look through the speculum at the cervix. I suggest talking with your regular OB GYN doctor about this, as they will be able to answer further questions, and will also probably be the doctor who performs the colposcopy.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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