A colposcope is a device used to examine the cervix to determine the cause of abnormal pap smears.

Patterns that may signal the presence of abnormal cells are visible at high magnification. Biopsies are directed to the areas most likely to harbor precancerous cells.

The biopsy results are used to determine treatments that may prevent the development of cervical cancer. Recent studies have confirmed that random biopsies should be taken even if the colposcopy does not reveal any abnormal patterns.

Bleeding is usually brief and minimal because the biopsy sites are very small. Most patients report minimal or no discomfort during the procedure. The results of the biopsy and the plan of care should be communicated within one week after the procedure.

If results have not been reported within that time frame, the patient should request a call or visit to go over the report.