Office procedures. Colposcopy

Prim Care. 1997 Jun;24(2):241-67. doi: 10.1016/s0095-4543(05)70392-4.


Colposcopy is a clinical procedure to examine the epithelium of the uterine cervix and surrounding anogenital area with a magnifying instrument to detect the presence of cervical neoplasia and to identify abnormal tissue for biopsy. The procedure is enhanced by the use of chemical solutions that assist discrimination of normal tissue and abnormal lesions. Colposcopic examination and directed biopsy of the most severe focus of cervical neoplasia ensure a valid representation of the status of cervical disease. The results from the cytologic smear, histologic evaluation, and colposcopic impression collectively determine appropriate patient management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Colposcopes
  • Colposcopy / adverse effects
  • Colposcopy / methods*
  • Contraindications
  • Curettage
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Office Visits*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*