What is Conization?

Cervical conization (cone biopsy) is a surgical procedure where a wedge or cone-shaped tissue sample is excised from the cervix for diagnostic and treatment purposes. As a diagnostic tool, the procedure is used to check cervical cells for cancer especially when magnified visual inspection (colposcopy) and cervical biopsy procedures have not provided adequate evidence to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. As a treatment tool, cervical conization is used to remove cells that are undergoing changes that could be precancerous (abnormal cells).

After the procedure, the biopsied tissue is examined by pathology for abnormal or precancerous cells (cervical dysplasia) and for cancerous cells. If the tissue tests positive for cervical dysplasia, further tests and treatment maybe scheduled. If the tissue tests negative for cancer, no other treatment is necessary. If the tissue tests positive for cancer, additional treatment such as further surgery or radiation are scheduled.

How is conization performed?

This procedure is done in the hospital. It is usually done under general anesthesia. The doctor will place an instrument (speculum) into your vagina to better see the cervix. A small cone-shaped sample of tissue is removed from the cervix. The procedure is done on the same day (outpatient) and a hospital stay is usually not needed.

What to expect after the procedure?

  • Some vaginal bleeding is normal for up to 1 week.
  • Some vaginal spotting or discharge (bloody or dark brown) may occur for about 3 weeks.
  • Pads should be used instead of tampons for about 2 weeks.
  • Sexual intercourse should be avoided for about 2 weeks.
  • Douching should not be done.


Risks of cold knife cone biopsy include

  • Bleeding, 
  • Infection
  • Scarring 
  • Or incompetent cervix

Notify your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Fever
  • Moderate to heavy bleeding (more than you would usually have during a menstrual period)
  • Increasing pelvic pain
  • Bad-smelling or yellowish vaginal discharge, which may point to an infection

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