Surgical Procedures for Cervical Dysplasia

Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD

July 6, 2023

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Cervical dysplasia, a condition characterized by abnormal cell growth on the cervix, can cause concern among women. While mild dysplasia cases often resolve independently, more severe forms may require medical intervention. This article will explore the surgical procedures commonly used to treat cervical dysplasia, helping you understand the available options and their potential benefits.

Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)

One of the most commonly performed surgical procedures for cervical dysplasia is the Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP). This minimally invasive technique involves the removal of abnormal cervical tissue using a thin wire loop heated by an electrical current. LEEP is typically performed under local anesthesia, and the removed tissue is sent for further examination to ensure the complete removal of abnormal cells. LEEP is known for its high success rate in treating dysplasia and allowing for the preservation of fertility.

Cold Knife Cone Biopsy

The Cold Knife Cone Biopsy is another excisional procedure used to treat cervical dysplasia. This procedure involves the removal of a cone-shaped portion of the cervix containing abnormal cells. Cold Knife Cone Biopsy is performed under general or regional anesthesia, and the excised tissue is sent for pathological analysis. This procedure is recommended for cases with high-grade dysplasia or when LEEP is not feasible. However, it may carry a slightly higher risk of complications than LEEP.


Cryotherapy is a non-surgical, ablative treatment option for cervical dysplasia. During this procedure, abnormal cells on the cervix are frozen and destroyed using extreme cold. Cryotherapy is often performed in an outpatient setting and can be completed within a few minutes. The destroyed tissue is expelled naturally over time. While cryotherapy is generally considered safe and effective, it may not be suitable for severe cases of dysplasia or for women who wish to preserve their fertility.

Laser Ablation

Laser ablation, or laser therapy, is another ablative treatment option for cervical dysplasia. This procedure uses a high-energy laser beam to remove or destroy abnormal cells on the cervix. Laser ablation is typically performed on an outpatient basis and is associated with minimal discomfort. However, as with cryotherapy, it may not be the preferred option for severe dysplasia cases or for women who desire future pregnancies.

When faced with cervical dysplasia, exploring the available surgical procedures and discussing them with your healthcare provider is essential. The treatment choice will depend on the severity of dysplasia, fertility goals, and other factors. Excisional procedures like LEEP and Cold Knife Cone Biopsy effectively remove abnormal tissue, while ablative procedures such as cryotherapy and laser ablation can destroy abnormal cells. Each procedure has its benefits and considerations, and your healthcare provider will guide you in selecting the most suitable option for your situation.

Remember, early detection and regular cervical screenings, such as Pap smears, play a crucial role in identifying cervical dysplasia at an early stage. By staying informed about the available healthcare treatment options and working closely with your healthcare team, you can take proactive steps toward effectively managing cervical dysplasia and safeguarding your long-term health.