Cervical biopsy

A cervical biopsy is a procedure to remove a sample of the cervix so the tissue can be examined under a microscope. A cervical biopsy is usually done to investigate areas of abnormal tissue found during a Pap test or colposcopy.

The amount of cervical tissue removed depends on the method used.

  • A simple cervical biopsy, sometimes called a punch biopsy, removes a small piece of tissue from the surface of the cervix.
  • An endocervical biopsy (endocervical curettage) removes tissue from high in the cervical canal by scraping with a sharp instrument.
  • Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to cut out abnormal tissue.
  • A cone biopsy (conization) is a more extensive form of a cervical biopsy that removes a cone-shaped wedge of tissue from the cervix.

Last Updated: December 12, 2009

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine

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