What is a Cervical Polypectomy?
A cervical polypectomy is a simple in-office procedure in which your OB/GYN will remove polyps, or small non-cancerous growths, from the cervix. This procedure is minimally invasive, low-risk, and can, in some cases, be performed without requiring anesthesia.
When is Cervical Polypectomy Performed?
A cervical polypectomy is performed if your OB/GYN finds that you have cervical growths known as polyps. These growths are usually detected during another examination such as a Pap smear. As many as 99% of cervical polyps are benign, meaning that they are non-cancerous and not precancerous. However, due to the small risk that a cervical polyp could be cancerous or precancerous, it is generally advised to have them removed.
The Cervical Polypectomy Procedure
During a cervical polypectomy, a speculum is used to expose the cervix similar to a standard Pap smear. The procedure for removing a polyp largely depends on whether or not the growth has a “stalk.” Polyps with a stalk can be more easily removed; your OB/GYN will use forceps to gently twist the polyp from its base and remove it from the cervix. Polyps which have a broader base or no stalk are usually removed under local anesthesia. To remove these polyps, your OB/GYN will use a heated wire loop to burn the polyp and remove it from the cervix. Any removed polyps are then sent to a lab to determine whether or not the cells are cancerous or precancerous.
A cervical polypectomy should not be painful. You may feel a dull ache or cramping sensation during and after the procedure. The procedure can be completed relatively quickly and you can return home the same day.
Recovery After Cervical Polypectomy
After your cervical polypectomy, you may feel some cramping or aching similar to what you may feel during a period. If necessary, you can take over-the-counter pain medication to keep comfortable. Some watery discharge or light bleeding after the procedure are both normal, however, you should avoid tampons until your next period and choose sanitary pads instead. Discharge or light bleeding can last for about a week after most cervical polypectomies, but removal of larger polyps may result in light bleeding for up to about four weeks. Avoid sexual intercourse until any bleeding or discharge stops.
Your OB/GYN will explain what you can expect during your appointment. Most patients are comfortable returning to work or other normal routines the same day as their cervical polypectomy.
Schedule an Appointment
To schedule an appointment for a cervical polypectomy in our Manhattan office, call Carnegie Women’s Health at (315) 628-7063. You may also request an appointment or more information through our online form.