Katie, California, USA: Since my cervical cancer presented
itself by heavy, irregular bleeding, the usual diagnostic procedures,
such as a PAP or colposcopy, were not possible and I went straight
to the cone biopsy. My gynecologist ordered a D & C (dilation
and curettage) and a hysteroscopy at the same time, because he couldn't
determine exactly what was wrong with me.
Because of the number of procedures involved, I had them done as an
outpatient, under general anesthesia. Naturally, I remember nothing
of the actual procedure, but when I awoke I was in a moderate amount
of pain and was given medication that eased the pain right away. I don't
know whether it was the D & C, the hysteroscopy, the cone biopsy,
or all three that caused this discomfort, but it didn't last very long.
In recovery, the gyn said everything looked fine, but the pathology
proved otherwise. I had cervical cancer. Over the next couple of years,
I would go on to have several more procedures and hospitalizations.
The cone biopsy was one of the easier ones.
I was released the same day and went home. My recovery was very easy.
No pain, just grogginess getting over the effects of the anesthesia.
The next day I was back to my normal activities. Although I didn't know
it at the time, I had developed a hematoma at the cone biopsy site.
A week later, it manifested itself in a torrent of blood at my first
visit to my new gynecologic oncologist. It caused quite a stir in the
office as everyone rushed around trying to stop the bleeding, and I
thought I would be hospitalized at that moment. Fortunately, it turned
out to be only "old" blood, but my gyn-onc had to postpone
his evaluation of me for another week because of it.
Jax, Massachusetts, USA: I had a cone
biopsy done under general anesthetic for further screening of cervical
cancer. As I understand it, my gynecologist removed the core of my cervix
to determine if the cancer was contained within the cervix and if so,
by what margin of tissue. Because I was under general anesthesia, there
was no pain with this test. Nor did I experience anything but mild discomfort
in the following days.