How do I prepare for a biopsy of genital warts?
The biopsy can be done in your doctor’s office or clinic. During this procedure, you may receive an injection of a numbing medicine (local anesthetic).
What happens during the biopsy?
A small sample of tissue (biopsy) may be taken from the genital warts. Then the sample is examined under a microscope. Biopsies of the outer genital area on both men and women are more likely. This includes the vulva, scrotum, or penis.
While the injection that delivers the anesthetic can be painful, the biopsy is otherwise painless. Local anesthetic is used when the procedure is likely to be more painful than the injection, but the patient will not feel it thanks to the anesthetic.
What happens after?
Women who have a biopsy may feel some soreness in the vagina for a day or two. Some vaginal bleeding or discharge is normal for up to a week after a biopsy. In case this occurs, you can use a sanitary pad for the bleeding. Do not douche, have sex, or use menstrual cups or tampons for one week, to allow time for your cervix to heal.
If a colposcopy was performed, do not exercise for a day.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand your instructions.
What do my results mean?
Findings of a biopsy may include the following:
No abnormal cells are found, which usually means that an HPV is not present.
Abnormal cells called koilocytes are found. Koilocytes are cells that appear hollow or concave when examined under a microscope. Koilocyte cells collected from the genital or anal areas are abnormal and indicate infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV).