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Colposcopy – When and why?

What is colposcopy?

Colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure used to detect premalignant and malignant lesions on the cervix. It is performed by using a colposcope to view the cervix magnified either stereoscopically or microscopically. The procedure is painless.

It is very important to note that colposcopy is a procedure complementary to cytologic diagnosis of cervical lesions (Pap smear). Applied together, they provide high diagnostic values. The procedure involves examination of the surface, color, shape and vascular lesions of the cervix as to reproduce typical colposcopic pictures, with normal, abnormal or clearly pathological colposcopic results.

Besides examining the cervical epithel, colposcopy is also used to examine the cervical canal (which is hard to be visualized), upper third of the vagina, and scarring after the surgical removal of the uterus.

Indications for colposcopy

Main purpose of the colposcopy is to evaluate the risk groups of patients. Risk groups are the patients with borderline or abnormal Pap smear results, then patients with HPV infection, those who had undergone surgical removal of the uterus, patients with unusual bleeding whose cause cannot be determined by any other methods, or patients for whom a cytologist, after they had had a Pap smear, believes that further information about the cervical condition is required. In other words, precaution is sometimes necessary. It would be ideal if the colposcopy were a part of every gynecological exam (at least once a year).

Therefore, colposcopy should not be a servant, but an associate in the woman’s health care!

Interpreting colposcopy results

Normal colposcopy results show normal squamous epithelium, normal cylindrical epithel and normal transformation zone.

Abnormal colposcopy result is made of multiple colposcopic pictures: flat acetowhite epithel, thick acetowhite epithel, fine mosaics, fine punctuation, partial iodine, negative iodine staining, and atypical patterns in blood vessels.

Suspicion to invasive cancer is detectable during a colposcopy examination. Furthermore, colposcopy also makes visible condylomata, polyps, epithel atrophy, etc.

Gynecologist will analyze the colposcopy results together with the Pap smear results, and act according to an algorithm, which will in specific cases define either a new diagnostic procedure or therapy, that is, an expectative attitude (regular checkups).

Benefits of colposcopy

Colposcopy is very important in early diagnosis and prevention of pre-invasive changes in the cervical epithel.

The procedure is non-invasive and painless, and it does not require particular preparation. It is usually done after a treated inflammation, immediately after a period, or in the middle of the cycle.

What do we offer in the Mehmedbašić Institute?

The Mehmedbašić Institute offers its patients diagnosis and treatment of cervical disorders. This includes experienced professionals, comfortable space, appropriate diagnostic and treatment equipment. Regarding the equipment, our Institute has a classical and digital colposcope, possibility to store computer data, findings and colposcopic pictures, which is extremely important for the evaluation of cervical changes. In the Institute, you can have a standard Pap smear taken, or “liquid based” method (fewer false-negative results) performed, classified under the most-contemporary Bethesda classification. Furthermore, we provide service by which we can directly detect HPV virus by using the polymerase chain reaction (real time PCR machine), where results are obtained within either 48 hours or 7 days. The Institute also performs target biopsy for cervical changes, fractionated abrasion of the cervix and uterus, etc. As for the treatments, the Institute provides contemporary cervical ablation technique (LLETZ), polypectomy, etc.

dr Mirza Mehić


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