I will start out by saying that I am not a medical professional. I am an every day woman just like you who has had to deal with woman’s health issues. I am writing this article not to give medical advice, but to tell you my experience with a procedure recommended by my gynecological oncologist. Any information in this article is not meant to be medical advice. For medical advice, please see your OBGYN.
I had an abnormal pap smear. After my abnormal pap smear I had a colposcopy where they took a punch biopsy. This biopsy revealed that I had CIN III or adenocarcinoma in situ. For those of you who are not familiar with pap smear terminology, this meant that I had dysplasia on my cervix that needed aggressive treatment due to increased risk of developing cervical cancer.
My OBGYN referred me to a gynecological oncologist. A gynecological oncologist is a doctor who specializes in cancers of women’s reproductive system. I did not have a positive cancer diagnosis, however my OBGYN felt that I needed to see a specialist due to my increased risks.
I went to the gynecological oncologist via the appointment that my OBGYN set up for me. They weighed me, took my temperature, and took my blood pressure. They asked me a lengthy list of questions. Then, the gynecological oncologist came in. He introduced himself and then went over my lab results with me. Basically, he told me that due to CIN III and adenocarcinoma in situ, I needed to have something done. He laid out the options.
The first option was a LEEP procedure. During the leep procedure, the gynecological oncologist uses a wire that has an electrical current running through it to shave off the abnormal cells. The gynecological oncologist performs this LEEP procedure in his/her office under local anesthetics. This means you are coherent and awake, but they numb your cervix much like a dentist numbs your tooth. My gynecological oncologist told me that if I wanted, they could sedate me if I was still nervous about the procedure, going here.
The second option was what is known as a cold knife conization. A cold knife conization is where the gynecological oncologist uses a knife to cut the abnormalities away. The cold knife conization procedure is performed in a hospital. You are put to sleep. The cold knife conization takes under an hour to complete in most cases. Risks include cervical stenosis, incompetent cervix, and in rare cases hemorrhaging that requires an emergency hysterectomy, and death. These are not all-inclusive side effects. If you have questions about side effects, please contact your doctor.
Cervical stenosis is where your cervix heals shut. If you have cervical stenosis after a cold knife conization, they will put a rubber drain in your cervix. It’s an easy fix. Incompetent cervix means that you could have difficulty with pregnancy. Your cervix could prematurely dilate. If you have a cold knife conization and get pregnant, your OBGYN will monitor you much closer than she would her other patients who have not had cold knife conizations.
When you go through a cold knife conization, you could have to stay in the hospital up to three days. In my case, I went home the same day as my procedure. It all depends on any complications you face.
I did not experience a lot of pain after my cold knife conization. I did not experience a lot of bleeding, either. In fact, the pain after my cold knife conization was less than the pain I had after my punch biopsy. Aftercare includes pap smears every three months, no sex/tampons for four to six weeks, and taking it easy.
A cold knife conization might be a procedure recommended to you by your OBGYN or gynecological oncologist. In any event, my personal experience was positive. I did not have any complications after my cold knife conization. I hope you find this information useful, as I had a difficult time finding information on line. Most information centers around the LEEP procedure. The LEEP procedure is more common, probably because it is done in an office setting.