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Tests and diagnostic procedures| Cone biopsy

 What is it like to have a cone biopsy?

 

 What is it like to have a cone biopsy?

 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.

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 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.

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