Colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure used to examine, under magnification, certain areas of the body and determine abnormalities. A vulvar colposcopy typically examines lesions on the vulva and is used to identify cancer or genital human papillomavirus, also called HPV.
The procedure is done with a colposcope, a microscope that can help identify malignant lesions on the vulva. It is usually performed as a follow-up to an abnormal pap smear. The exam itself is similar to a pap smear in that a speculum is inserted into the vagina so that the cervix is visible. The colposcope is situated so that the physician may view the area in question with a magnification of 10 to 40 times its normal size. If any abnormal cells are noticed, a biopsy of the tissue may be done.
A colposcopy is a safe procedure with few complications. Light bleeding or discharge for up to a week after the procedure is normal.
Endometrial Ablation – NovaSure® Procedure
NovaSure® is a minimally invasive alternative used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding, a condition known as menorrhagia. Menorrhagia is a common condition that affects 20% of women each year and causing pain, fatigue and other symptoms. Women with menorrhagia have periods that last over 7 days, soak through a tampon or pad every hour and pass blood clots during their period.
NovaSure is an FDA-approved treatment and is a modified endometrial ablation treatment, with no incisions, anesthesia or downtime. During the NovaSure procedure, the cervix is dilated and a soft, thin wand is inserted through the vagina into the uterus. A triangular mesh array is then extended through the wand to contour to the shape of the uterus, and a precisely measured radio frequency energy is delivered to the area for 90 seconds. The radio frequency energy helps melt and destroy the endometrium, the uterine lining, which reduces or even eliminates menstrual bleeding. After the RF energy is applied, the mesh array is retracted and gently removed from the uterus.
The entire NovaSure procedure takes about 5 minutes to perform and is done in your doctor's office. Your doctor may apply a local anesthetic to the area to help relieve any discomfort, but in most cases it is not needed. Some women experience mild cramping and minor discomfort after the procedure.
After undergoing NovaSure, patients can return to work and other normal activities the within a day. Mild pain medication such as ibuprofen can be taken to relieve any discomfort after the procedure. Some women may experience vaginal discharge or bleeding as well, but these symptoms usually go away on their own within a few days. Up to 97% of women experienced a relief in the menstrual bleeding and related symptoms 12 months after the procedure.
If you are considering having a baby in the future, you should not undergo the NovaSure procedure, as it can reduce your chance of getting pregnant, and can also cause serious complications for the mother and fetus.
Although the NovaSure treatment is considered safe, there are certain risks involved with any medical procedure. Some of these risks may include thermal injury, perforation, and infection or pregnancy complications.
If you are interested in learning more about the NovaSure procedure, please call us today to schedule a consultation.
Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is used to treat abnormal cells found on the surface of the cervix. During the procedure, the abnormal cells are removed to prevent development of cervical cancer.
Wire loops attached to an electrosurgical generator cut away the affected tissue, causing the cells to heat and burst. The tissue removed is sent to a lab for further evaluation, including ensuring that the abnormal area has been fully removed. An assessment as to the cause of the growth of abnormal tissue will also be done. The LEEP procedure takes 20-30 minutes and can be performed in the office. A local anesthetic is administered to minimize pain.