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Cold Knife Conization

Cold knife conization is a procedure to remove the precancerous cells (dysplasia) of a woman's cervix, which is the entrance to the womb or uterus. It is performed if a test called colposcopy cannot find the cause of an abnormal Pap smear. The procedure involves giving regional or general anesthesia, then cutting off a cone-shaped piece of tissue containing the abnormal cervical cells. Cold knife cone biopsies allow the surgeon to take a larger amount of tissue to examine. The cells are examined under a microscope for signs of disease. That may be all the treatment that is needed. Abnormal results mean that there are precancerous or cancerous cells within the cervix called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and additional treatment is needed. Along with lasers and loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP), conization is one of the physician's options for treating dysplasia. Operative times for cone biopsy vary greatly, depending on the findings at the time of the procedure, but take less than one hour. Patients usually may return to work the following day but will experience intermittent cramping and bleeding. Patients will be advised to avoid heavy lifting and sexual intercourse during the few weeks after cold knife conization.