If an abnormality is found during your colposcopy, further treatment may be required. Dr Farrell will talk to you about what treatment options are most appropriate for your personal circumstances.
Treatment options may include LLETZ or cone biopsy.
The following sections provide a short explanation of each of these treatment options.
Large Loop Excision
of the Transformation Zone (LLETZ)
This procedure is done when your cervical screening test, colposcopy or biopsy has shown pre-cancerous cells on the surface of your cervix. Treatment is usually recommended when there is a risk that the abnormal cells may progress to cancer of the cervix. The risk of developing cancer is small and only occurs if the abnormal areas are left without treatment for long periods of time.
- The LLETZ treatment aims to totally remove the abnormal cells from the cervix.
- A wire loop with an electric current (diathermy) is used to shave off these cells.
- This leaves a raw area on the cervix, which usually heals very well within 2-3 weeks.
- The healed cervix should then contain only healthy tissue, without any abnormal cells.
- The LLETZ procedure may be done in the rooms under a local anaesthetic or as a day stay procedure in hospital under a general anaesthetic. Dr Farrell will discuss with you your preference, which may also depend on the type of abnormal cells you have, the size and position of the cells, your age, and your comfort level.
What to expect after the procedure
- You may experience some slight “period like” discomfort for a day or so.
- Initially bleeding varies from slight to as much as a light period.
- You will probably have a vaginal discharge, brown or blood stained and later clear, for up to three or four weeks.
- For one to two weeks you should avoid heavy exercise and flying in an airplane .
- For the first three to four weeks you should avoid intercourse, swimming and using tampons in order to promote healing of the cervix and minimize the risk of infection.
Some women do develop infections after the procedure.
If you develop a foul smelling discharge or heavy bleeding that is not a normal period, you will need to contact Dr Farrell or see your GP, as you will need oral antibiotic treatment.
You will be contacted with your results after 7-10 days.
An appointment for a repeat colposcopy 6 months following the LLETZ procedure will also be made.
This is to check that the cervix has healed well, without residual or recurrent abnormal cells.
In this minor operation, a cone-shaped section of the cervix, which contains the abnormal cells, is removed with a knife. A general anaesthetic is normally needed and a half day stay for recovery is required.
This operation is recommended when the abnormal cells are higher in the cervical canal and/or affect the glandular cells. Glandular cells appear higher up in the cervical canal.