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Colposcopy and biopsy
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 20, 2011 04:36 PM

I had an abnormal pap smear last month that showed a low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion and I am going in for a colposcopy on Wednesday (it takes freaking forever to get an appointment out here.) Anyway, I'd been doing a pretty good job about ignoring the fact that I had an appointment until the clinic sent me a bunch of "information" pamphlets that very little actual information in them but did succeed in supremely freaking me out. One thing the pamphlet did say was that if they see any abnormalities, they are going to take a biopsy, the idea of which is terrifying to me.

So a little background, I have pretty bad anxiety in general and even worse anxiety about medical situations. About a year and a half ago, I was in excruciating pain, had to go to the emergency room and 12 hours later, I was having emergency surgery to remove a cantaloupe-sized ovarian cyst and my necrotic fallopian tube. After that incident, I have been even more afraid of medical stuff and I tend to automatically default to the worst case scenario.

Anyway, I am just looking for support, I guess, and stories from other people who have gone through the procedure, specifically the cervical biopsy or endocervical curretage. I'm freaked out about the procedure and I am freaked out about the results. I have been doing lots of reading and I know that low grade SILs are likely to clear up on their own, but I am still completely freaked out and could use some hugs.

27 Replies to Colposcopy and biopsy

re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By kandykanePremium member
On Mon Jun 20, 2011 04:50 PM
Well, I've had a colonoscopy, none of the other stuff, but the colonoscopy is an easy, easy procedure. Even if you need a biopsy. They put you in a twilight sleep and you won't remember a thing and should have no pain and wake feeling fine. Hungry, but fine. You should be able to eat as soon as they release you. Take a friend or family member with you, it will help the nerves.

Now, the prep for the colonoscopy is pretty bad. No food, liquids only, the liquid laxative that hits you pretty hard, all to void your colon is ick. Just plain ick. Just hunker down and get it done. Stay home, don't try to go anywhere while you are doing the prep. But don't stress about the procedure, you should get through it with no problems.

I hope your results are good.

Hugs, kk~
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Mon Jun 20, 2011 04:52 PM
((((HUGS)))) (((((HUGS))))) and more ((((((HUGS))))))

I'm sorry to say that I don't know anything about your upcoming procedure, but I do know about being anxious about medical procedures. When I was 11, I had a stomach ache one night that got worse and worse until at 3 am my parents were driving me (screaming) to the ER, and 8 hours and many tests later we find out that I had kidney stones. Since then, I feel like any small, unexplained ache could turn into something big; something to be afraid of.

I hope you know that you have a LOT of support here, and we're all giving you the best of wishes. It's 100% understandable to be freaked, and I'm sorry that you have an anxious few days ahead of you. The best I can tell you is that 'abnormal' could have been caused by many, many things--just as many inconsequential things as are possible as the big,scary things. There is hope to be had, to give you company until you get test results.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 20, 2011 05:03 PM
Thanks for the replies, ladies, it means a lot. I know that abnormal paps can be caused by many things, but the pamphlet that they sent me said that if they find the kind of abnormality I have, they just assume that it's HPV. So boo to that. Also feeling kind of crummy about that one, even though I know I have always been careful. The kind of abnormality I have is the beginning stage of the precancerous changes, I think, though these abnormalities often clear up on their own.

Kk- I'm not having a colonoscopy, I'm having a colposcopy, which is kind of an extension on a pap smear where they will look at my cervix using some kind of high powered microscope(?)
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:11 PM
The appointment's tomorrow. They called to remind me about it, and I am just so panicked. Everything they keep saying to me and giving to me is telling me to take ibuprofen in case they need to do a biopsy (although the pamphlet made it sound like they definitely would unless it was a false positive, which is doubtful) and that is just making me freak out even more about the potential pain and the bleeding (for up to one week). The pamphlets did not satisfactorily explain anything really (my boyfriend commented that they seemed like they were targeted toward 2nd graders) so I went googling. This also scared me, but I feel a little bit more comfortable now that I can prepare myself mentally for the actual procedure they are doing rather than barely knowing anything because of the super vague language they were using.

Uuuugh.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By kandykanePremium member
On Tue Jun 21, 2011 08:56 PM
^ Good luck to you. Try your best to stay calm, that's the best thing for you. I hope all turns out well. Sorry I read the test wrong.

kk~
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By dancin_til_death
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 07:52 AM
Tell your brain to worry about it late. You can't really talk yourself out of this situation, its a scary one. However worrying about it isn't going to help at all. So tell your brain you can worry about it when you get the results, and in the mean time you can stop consulting doctor google and instead do some stuff you enjoy. Like baking, reading, coffee dates, do something enjoyable.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 07:54 AM
My thoughts are with you today! Please keep us updated.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:43 AM
Thanks everyone for the support.

I've been trying to keep myself as occupied as possible since it's mostly when I'm alone with my thoughts when I really start to panic. My boyfriend is coming to the appointment with me so he's been staying here for the last couple of days. That's helped a lot. We went to the beach and had a picnic yesterday.

The appointment is in about four hours so the anxiety is mounting, but I'm doing okay as of now.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:45 AM
You can do it :) I know this might not be very helpful, but the first thing I thought of when I read your post was that you WILL get through it. It'll be an anxious time (and rightfully so), but you will live through it, you will come out on the other side, and hopefully, you'll come out with no biopsy necessary. Good luck!
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:04 PM
Something that really helps: Don't use medical terminology - that sounds so much more scary than: Gonna take a look-see, take a little scrape.

Hug~
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Niennamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:19 PM
My thoughts are with you love, I'm sure everything will be just fine! You're super brave!
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Martha_Cecillemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 02:15 PM
big hugs for you
*knuddel* (this I use for my german friends, knuddel is the cutsy form of cuddling)

I hope they don't bother you with long waiting hours etc. and that your result are good. We are with you in our thoughts!
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 02:39 PM
Edited by Claritin (139973) on 2011-06-22 14:53:29
Thank you for all the positive thoughts. It's very touching. I'm sitting in the waiting room right now. I'll let you all know how it goes. Eek!

Edit: I am getting kind of annoyed because my appointment was 25 minutesago and I still haven't been called. It wouldn't be so bad except I got here before almost evereyone I was sitting with in the waiting room but they've all been called a while ago. Meeanwhile my anxiety is growing the longewr I have to wait.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 02:50 PM
You have all of our support!
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Trout
On Wed Jun 22, 2011 05:15 PM
Having some abnormal cells on your pap smears is common. It doesn't mean you have a disease, it doesn't mean you have cancer. Sometimes abnormal cells just happen. Biopsies are a common procedure to have when they've discovered abnormal cells. It happens a lot. Having a biopsy doesn't mean you have cancer, either.

I had some abnormal cells on one of my paps. I was told to come back 6 months later, and the problem had resolved.

As for biopsies, I have had two skin biopsies. I had some moles taken off and biopsied because they were suspicious. Both came back negative.

Try not to worry about your biopsy. Biopsies are very common and it doesn't mean you have cancer. There's nothing you can do between now and when you get the results, so try not to work yourself up.

Let us know how it went!
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By dancin_til_death
On Thu Jun 23, 2011 04:54 AM
I know this is late, but I was chatting with some friends today and found out that a good friend of mine had a biopsy and CIN III removed 5 years ago (she's 24), she's fine now, she just has to have yearly pap smears.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jun 25, 2011 02:23 PM
Edited by Claritin (139973) on 2011-06-25 14:36:17
Thanks everyone for the well wishes. Everything went OK, though I ended up having to wait for freaking ever, which made my anxiety infinitely worse.

Anyway, it’s all said and done and I got through it alright. I am, however, kind of wondering about the medical necessity of the whole thing and thinking that if I were to be in the situation again, I will get second opinions. It’s my understanding that the main reason they would do the colposcopy/biopsy for me, since it is a low-grade abnormality, is to make sure the it is what the pap smear said it was. If it is, then I just come back in six months and get another pap smear. I’ve been reading that a lot of the time clinicians will just choose to have the woman come back for another pap smear in six months rather than going through the whole colposcopy and biopsy the first time around and I think that might have been a preferable option for me since it was so psychologically distressing.

The procedure was pretty uncomfortable. The speculum, which I have always thought was uncomfortable was in me for about 20 minutes. I did end up having three biopsies taken, although fortunately, I didn't really feel them. The worst part was when she sprayed the acetic acid into my vagina. It stung like no other. I thought it was really annoying that all of the literature that they beat me to death with went on and on about everything they would do and how it would feel but nothing mentioned the most painful part by far. It was all just “slight pinch” and “mild cramping” and blah blah blah but not mention that the acetic acid feels like fire (she warned me about ten seconds before she did it that it was going to sting really badly.)

Afterward, I was feeling pretty sore and like things were inflamed. It was uncomfortable to sit up for the rest of the day but I felt better after that. I’ve had a little bit of cramping and my entire nether regions have smelled like chemicals for the last couple of days, which is kind of nauseating. It’s finally going away thank god. Other worst part is that I can't have sex for a week (or 3 days? They gave me conflicting literature and I forgot to ask) which really sucks because I just got over a terrible yeast infection and I'm getting antsy!

She said the results should come in a couple of a weeks, but she anticipates that the results will be benign or LSIL, which is what my pap showed. If this is the case, I will just be asked to come back in 6 months for another pap smear. Fingers crossed that this is what will happen and that my pap smear will be clear at the follow up.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 04:10 PM
So I got my biopsy results back. It's been three weeks so I finally had to call them to see if they had them in and they did. Annoyed that they didn't call and wondering how long they've been sitting on the results, but whatever.

The results came back the same as my pap smear, which was a mild abnormality. They used a different grading scale this time so I was told it was CIN1, but it's the same as the previous LSIL result.

So now I need to go back in for a pap smear at 6 months and one at 12 months. I'm told that if either results are abnormal, I'll have to come back for another colposcopy and biopsy at 12 months. Uuuugh. I know this is for my safety, but it is really, really stressing me out. I thought at least they'd give my body more than 6 months to clear the infection before I had to get another colposcopy. I have my fingers crossed that everything will be clear at 6 months, but the things I've been reading seem to indicate that it usually takes CIN1 more around 1-2 years to clear up so I'm kind of expecting now to have to do another colposcopy. This whole stupid procedure was EXTREMELY distressing to me and I really don't want to have to do it again, especially now knowing how the vinegar feels and the fact that my genitals felt inflamed for an entire day after. I'm definitely going to talk to them about the medical necessity of doing another one if the first pap smear is abnormal but the second one comes out clear. Ugh. This feels never ending.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 04:14 PM
(((Claritin)))

I am so sorry that this is being drawn out, even though it is important it sucks! Still, I hope you can put it aside for a few months and forget about it before the next pap. AND, every time you get stressed, you have us on DDN to come to. We'll always give you well-wishing and support.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By leap2livemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:10 AM
I know exactly what you mean about it being never ending. I've had all kinds of medical tests in the past few years, and it seems like they're dragged out as long as possible. A few weeks ago, I had horrible, horrible mouth sores. I had to go to the doctor, who then sent me for a blood test. Then back to the doctor for the results, who then sent me to get a mouth biopsy, because I 'MIGHT have cancer.' Then I had to wait to go BACK to the doctor to get the results. It felt like the longest wait of my life. Praise God it wasn't cancer, but they were able to narrow it down to help treat them,

I know that you're pretty frustrated wondering about the necessity of these tests, but if you get a second opinion, they're likely to suggest the same procedures. They want to be thorough and make sure that nothing is missed. Just think of it as a little trouble now can save you a whole lot of trouble later!

And if you DO have to go again for a second procedure, it'll be much easier for you this time. You know exactly what to expect at the appointment, what it will feel like, and how long it will take. Chances are, the stinging will actually hurt less, now that you know what to expect. And as far as anxiety goes- you should feel proud of yourself because you got through the whole procedure smoothly- another anxiety you can check off! :)
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By dkbtjbp
On Wed Aug 03, 2011 09:17 PM
Hi. I just wanted to say. I have an abnormal papsmear 2 years ago and had to have a colopscopy. I have one after my first one. It came back as some strain of hpv, not cancer causing and it was mild. I have been going to get my pap smear every 6 months since then. yes it is a pain and costs more money but my drs seem very calm about it. I freaked out at first and why like oh no I am going to die have cancer, etc. I tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac. This does not seem to be the case. So far I just keep going and getting the pap smears. Not another colopscopy yet. They say exercising and eating right and taking folic acid. Things to boost you immune system are supposed to help. Has not so far for me but I have been slacking since after the first year I was not healed, but assuming you are otherwise healthy the virus should pass. That is my experience with it. hope things go well with you.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Aug 03, 2011 09:36 PM
^Thanks. I've been taking a multivitamin and folic acid religiously since I found out. Because I'm super low income, it doesn't actually cost me anything to get these things done, so that's a bonus. As far as I know, they didn't test what strain of HPV I have. The literature they gave me said they don't generally test if you have a low or high grade abnormality, they just assume that its HPV and don't bother to find out what kind.

Are the pap smears still coming back abnormal for you? I was kind of hoping that they would just have me come back for pap smears every six months like what you are doing, so I was kind of dismayed to hear they are only going to give my body six months to clear the virus before I have to have another colposcopy. I'd rather not if I don't have to, but I suppose it's a little riskier to wait and see since they didn't test for the strand.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:43 PM
I'm glad to hear things are ok...

LLD had a stupid moment and somehow read that as COLONOSCOPY... I was trying to figure out what your pooper had to do with your vajayjay...

I need to go to sleep now.
re: Colposcopy and biopsy
By dkbtjbp
On Thu Aug 04, 2011 09:15 PM
Maybe they could tell you what strain but I feel if it was a serious one, then they would have told you. Apparently there a lots of strains and my doctor told me on my last visit I could still get the HPV shot. I did not get it since I already had it, but she said it would protect me against the strains I dont have. So I might look into that.
Unfortunately mine have still been abnormal, my doctor requires three normal ones in a row before going back to once a year check ups. Though I was a bit slack with the vitamin and exercise for awhile, but I am back into it. Though have must not have had any major changes cause it always says the same thing every time and they just tell me to come back in 6 months. Though they are just doing the papsmear test. Maybe you can ask them to monitor you that way? Hopefully though yours will clear up faster.
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