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What is a cone biopsy?

A cone biopsy is surgery to remove abnormal cells from the cervix. The cervix is the neck-shaped opening at the lower, narrow part of the uterus that connects the uterus to the vagina. During the procedure, a cone-shaped piece of tissue is removed from the cervix and sent to a lab for analysis. 

Cone biopsy may be used to treat cervical disease, such as cervical dysplasia or early cervical cancer. Cone biopsy is also used to diagnose the cause of moderate to severe cell abnormalities. 

Your doctor may recommend a cone biopsy after other gynecologic screening tests, such as a Pap test, colposcopy, or a cervical biopsy, detect pre-cancer or early cervical cancer. A cone biopsy may be the only treatment needed to cure your condition or biopsy results can help guide future treatments.

Cone biopsy is only one method used to treat cervical abnormalities. Other treatments with fewer risks may be available. Ask your doctor about all your treatment options and consider getting a second opinion before deciding on cone biopsy. 

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Nov 5, 2013

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Medical References

  1. Cervical Biopsy. Better Medicine. http://www.bettermedicine.com/article/cervical-biopsy. Accessed Aug. 30, 2013.
  2. Cervical Cone Biopsy. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. http://www.dana-farber.org/Health-Library/Cervical-cone-biopsy.aspx. Accessed August 26, 2013.
  3. Colposcopy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq135.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130830T1246282949. Accessed August 30, 2013.
  4. Cone Biopsy. American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. http://www.asccp.org/Portals/9/docs/pdfs/Patient_Education/Cone_Biopsy.pdf. Accessed August 27, 2013.
  5. How are cervical cancers and pre-cancers diagnosed? American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/detailedguide/cervical-cancer-diagnosis. Accessed August 27, 2013.
  6. Loop Electrocautery Excision Procedure (LEEP) and Cone Biopsy. University of Washington. http://www.uwmedicine.org/patient-care/our-services/medical-services/gynecology/pages/articleview.as.... Accessed August 30, 2013.
  7. Rock JA, Jones HW III (Eds.) TeLinde’s Operative Gynecology (10th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.

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