Cervical Dysplasia

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What are treatments for cervical dysplasia?

(These treatments are for CIN precancerous conditions only and are not appropriate for invasive cancer conditions.)

Most women with low grade (mild) dysplasia (CIN1 when the diagnosis is confirmed and all abnormal areas have been visualized), will frequently undergo spontaneous regression of the mild dysplasia without treatment. In others, it will persist, and in some, it will progress. Therefore, monitoring without specific treatment is often indicated in this group. Treatment is appropriate for women diagnosed with high-grade cervical dysplasia (CIN II and CIN III).

Treatments for cervical dysplasia fall into two general categories: destruction (ablation) of the abnormal area and removal (resection). Both types of treatment are equally effective.

The destruction (ablation) procedures are carbon dioxide laser, electrocautery, and cryotherapy. The removal (resection) procedures are loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), cold knife conization, and hysterectomy. Treatment is not done at the time of the initial colposcopy, since the treatment depends on the subsequent diagnosis of the biopsies obtained.

Carbon dioxide laser photoablation

This procedure, which is also known as CO2 laser, uses an invisible beam of coherent light to vaporize the abnormal area. A local anesthetic may be given to numb the area prior to the laser treatment. A clear vaginal discharge and spotting of blood may occur for a few weeks after the procedure. The complication rate of this procedure is very low. The most common complications are narrowing (stenosis) of the cervical opening and delayed bleeding. This treatment destroys the abnormal area.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/13/2015

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