Cone Biopsy

A cervical cone biopsy is surgery to remove tissue from the cervix. The cervix is the small round opening at the bottom of the uterus (womb). The cervix connects the uterus to the top of the vagina (birth canal). You may need a cervical biopsy if cells that are not normal are found during a Pap test. But, a cone biopsy may also be used to treat early cancer and other problems. Sometimes instead of surgery to remove your uterus, cone biopsy can be done so you can still have babies.

A cone biopsy is usually done under a general anesthetic, though very small cone biopsies can be performed under local anesthetic. A vaginal pack is sometimes put in place in theatre while the woman is under anesthetic. This is like a long bandage that puts pressure on the biopsy site and so helps to stop any bleeding, a bit like putting pressure on a cut to stop it bleeding. Some women feel a deep ache and / or tenderness in their pelvis after surgery so it can help to have painkillers at home, similar to when women have period pains. Many women feel tired for a few days or even a week or so after having general anesthetic.

You will experience some bloody discharge. It should not be more than a light period initially. You may continue to have staining for 12-14 days. If you are experiencing heavy vaginal bleeding or clotting requiring you to change a pad an hour, you need to call your physician right away. During the procedure, packing may be used to stop bleeding. It is a natural product that may be absorbed or it may fall out. It may look black or bloody, which is normal. Your physician will tell you if packing was used.


  • Nothing in the vagina for four weeks. Avoid vaginal douching, sex and tampons for four weeks, as they increase your risk for bleeding and/or infection.
  • You may drive unless taking medication that makes you drowsy.
  • You may return to work in 2-3 days.
  • Avoid any heavy lifting or aerobic type exercises for two weeks.