Most changes in cervical cells are detected by family doctors at the regular checkups. In about 5% of the smear tests taken, abnormal cell changes are found. Cell changes range from atypical cells to cells with dysplasia, which in rare cases can be the early stages of cancer.
If the smear shows atypical cells or mild dysplasia, Aagaard Klinik can perform a keyhole examination (colposcopy) and take samples of tissue from the cervix.
If the sample of cervical tissue confirms that you have moderate or severe dysplasia, we advise you to have the affected areas removed. This can be done in a procedure called cone biopsy.
A cone biopsy is a small procedure, but usually you’ll have a general anaesthetic. In some cases, we can perform it with a local anaesthetic only. What happens is that we remove a small cone of your cervix where the keyhole examination (colposcopy) spotted some cell changes. This cone is then sent for further analysis at the Aarhus University Department of Histopathology.
- Recommended vaccination against HPV Infection (Human Papilloma Virtus)
Any woman who’s sexually active risks being infected with HPV. The infection is so common that you might call it a sexually transmitted cold. Often an HPV infection will show no symptoms at all. But chronic HPV infection can cause severe changes in the cervix, which may in some cases develop into cervical cancer. Even if you’ve been diagnosed with cell changes and had treatment, it’s still recommended that you have the vaccination, as there are a number of different types of HPV.
- After the operation
You should take it easy for the rest of the day after the operation. The next day, our nurse will call you at home to check that you’re OK.
- Post-operative checkup
14 days after the operation, we will contact you by phone/email/letter regarding your test results.
If all cell changes have been removed, we recommend that you have a smear 3 months later. If this smear shows no abnormal cells, you should have a smear again at your family doctor 6 months and then 12 months later. After that, a smear once a year for the next 10 years is sufficient. About 95% have no cell changes after the cone biopsy.