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Cone Biopsy Expectations

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Abby Mac
Cone Biopsy Expectations

Hello all, I'm not sure if I'm in the right place to ask this question but here it is.

I have not been diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. I had an abnormal pap result (ASCUS and HPV 16 positive), followed by a colposcopy and diagnosis of CIN3, exo and endo cervical. I was referred to another doctor for a leep conization (cone biopsy), which I was told is something that is done in the office with local anasthesia. I find this quite alarming. I've done a fair bit of research on cone biopsies and it seems so scary to me. From what I have read, it seems like it's a matter of preference whether a doctor chooses to do local or general anesthesia, depending upon the extent of the cone needed to biopsy.

So I'm curious about what everybody else's experience is with this. For those who have undergone a cone biopsy, what kind of anesthesia did they give you? What was your experience like? (Pain during or after the procedure?) What were your results? Thanks so much for your time and your thoughts; I can tell that this website is going to be a valuable resource throughout this process.

Abby Mac

  • March 13 2019 - Abnormal pap results: ASCUS, HPV 16
  • March 21 2019- Colposcopy with cervical biopsy
  • March 25 2019- Biopsy results CIN3, exo and endo cervical. 
  • April 10 2019- Cone Biopsy

There is no easy answer because everyone's body reacts differently. They wouldn't recommend it if it wasn't manageable but if you really are scared just ask for another chat about it 

Personally I havent had cone biopsy but I have had Lletz and it didn't go well for me and I had to convert to GA part way through. But a close friend also had Lletz and she was fine. 

I hope all goes well for you x

Wilms tumour, full left nephrectomy and chemo 1991. Full remission 1993

Abnormal smear, HPV detected 29.01.19

Colposcopy 18.02.19

Lletz procedure and biospy 11.03.19

CC diagnosis 21.03.19 Adenocarcinoma Stage 1 

25.04.19 Further Lletz and laprascopic lymphadenectomy


I have never had any sort of surgery or anesthesia, and frankly, am very scared of anything medical, and even I have to admit it was completely okay. I had general anesthesia and the procedure took about 45 minutes. I woke up in a different room and was asked to stay for a few hours to let the anesthesia wear off. I had no pain oddly. When I got home, the next few days I felt a little sore but still was able to go on short walks with my dog. I bled or had odd discharge for about 2 weeks. I never took any pain killers or medicine.

I hope that helps!


Sep 2018- Abnormal Pap Smear- HSIL while pregnant

Oct 2018- Coloscopy/punch biopsy- suggests CIN3

Feb 2019- Cone biopsy under GA- confirms clear margins with the removal of CIN 3 and a microinvasive 1a1 scc

Apr 2019- first smear clear

May 2019- MRI scan- results are clear

July 2019- second smear and biopsy, clear


Hi Abby,

I had a cone biopsy under a general anaesthetic, so obviously don't remember anything, I wasn't given any other option, and frankly was quite happy to be knocked out! Afterwards I wasn't too uncomfortable, a bit crampy, and just feeling the usual after effects of a GA. I believe that my cone area was quite large, so maybe why they did a GA. I ended up being 1b1, and had a total hysterectomy 6 weeks after my cone biopsy.

March 2017 - smear showed CIN 3

March 2017 - colposcopy and punch biopsy taken, biopsy shows microinvasion

April 2017 - cone biopsy performed, most of tumour removed, but margins not clear, staged as 1b1

June 2017 - radical hysterectomy performed, nodes are clear.

December 2017 - VAIN 3 found at check up

March 2018 - excision shows adenoma, no need for concern

July 2018 - smear shows VAIN3

September 2018 - 8 rounds of brachytherapy

December 2018 - clear smear

March 2018 - clear smear


Hello :)

i also had a cone biopsy under GA. I’m a nurse but was terrified! Everything (on the day at least) went well and was home the same day. I also had a laparoscopy at the same time but would have had the cone biopsy under GA regardless! Also wasn’t given another option. Unfortunately now waiting to see if I need further treatment though! 


I read other's comments and if she is as scared as I was, she probably wants to know EXACTLY what to expect, so here goes...And sorry before hand for the long post, but I hope it helps you...I just had my cone biopsy 4 days ago under GA, so the scaredness you are feeling is natural...I was so terrified that I wanted to get a spinal where I am awake because I didn't want to be put to sleep for fear I wouldn't wake up..The day of I was crying (talk about fearful huh)...

What happened with me during anesthesia was the doctor said turn your head to the left ( I guess he did that in my case cuz he knew how fearful I was,  and so I wouldn't see the medicine he used put in)...Both of your arms are flat out on boards, so they can control your blood pressure on one arm and the IV on the other...Heart, breathing, oxygen, and blood pressure are all monitored all through it...So then the aneistists said in 20 seconds yu will fall asleep...I am litterly laying there wide awake with my eyes open thinking shouldn't I start to drift off (because I heard it only takes a matter of seconds to fall asleep so I'm thinking this thing isn't working. Well it worked fast because the  next thing I hear my name being called as it was over...I didn't feel my eyes drifting off or closing, and when I woke up my first question was "Did I sleep"..In my case, I did not feel groggy or sleepy when I woke up...They must have thought I was a real nut because my legs were up in the air and I didn't remember them putting them there before hand. lol...I woke up so quickly that the packing wasn't completely done, and it feels like no time has passes...I didn't even get the breathing tube down my throat during, and I'm a smoker.  After you are brought to the recovery room where you are monitored with your heart, blood pressure etc...I felt so good after that I wanted to go home right after, but it don't work that way...Then I went to the surgery day care centred, and they took the packing  out, got me walking and took me to the bathroom and then I was discharged from the hospital. 

As for the pain, yes you will feel mild period-like cramping (not to bad), but advil will work for that..15 mins after I took the advil the pain left...You will experience some burning after they take the packing out, but that lasts about 10-15 mins...That is a little uncomfortable, but in my case not to  bad ( I was just glad it was over)...You will have black discharge, not much, but in my case I also had a d & c to clean me out, so I just had very little blood the day it happened and the black discharge after which I still have..That can last up to a week or more...It's not bad at all...You don't feel pain in the cervix or nothing, only pain you will feel is the mild cramping. I say this because I don't think anyone could have been as more scared then I was with what to expect...I know the hospital staff must have thought I was crazy...A 50 year old baby here not wanting them to do it, but I would do it again if need too...It's nothing at all...And trust me when I say this because I was just as terrified as you, if not more. I hope my info lessens your anxiety a bit, but if you are scared, know matter what anyone says the anxiety and fear will still be there, as it did for me. Hope everything works out.  And let me tell you, after it is all over, your going to feel like a fool being so scared, at least that's how I felt lol 

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Cervical cancer