Colposcopy is a procedure performed when the screening Pap test is abnormal. Colposcopy allows your gynaecologist to confirm the abnormality found on the Pap smear, and to determine the extent of the abnormality. It is important to have a colposcopy to ensure that the Pap smear has not missed a more significant abnormality (like cervical cancer), and a colposcopy will allow your gynaecologist to determine the most appropriate treatment for the cervical abnormality detected by the Pap smear test. Dr Amy Tang and Dr Archana Rao are both Brisbane colposcopy specialists and female gynaecological oncologists who specialise in colposcopy for diagnosing and treating Pap smear (Cervical Screening Test) abnormalities.


What does Colposcopy involve?

Colposcopy is a procedure where our colposcopy specialist will use a colposcope to look at your cervix under magnification. A colposcope is just like a set of binoculars on a stand. The colposcope does not enter your vagina, and does not even touch your body. Our colposcopy specialist will position the colposcope between your legs, and then gently insert a speculum into your vagina, just like when you are having your Pap smear with your GP. The procedure is not painful, but can often cause some discomfort similar to a Pap smear examination. By applying a small amount of Vinegar (very mild Acetic acid) to the cervix, abnormal cervical cells can be identified. It may feel a little cold and some women experience some mild stinging when this vinegar solution is applied to your cervix, but it does not hurt or cause pain. If an abnormality is seen on your cervix, a tiny piece of tissue (biopsy) may be sent to the lab for further analysis. Just because a biopsy needs to be taken does not mean that the colposcopist thinks you have cancer. A small amount of spotting after the biopsy is normal, and our colposcopy specialist will apply a yellow paste to the area. This acts like a  bandage to stop any bleeding. While it is normal to feel some cramping or discomfort after the biopsy, this feeling is temporary. Some women may prefer to take some simple pain killers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, which are very effective in relieving this discomfort.

The procedure only takes about 5 to 10 minutes, and in many ways, it is very similar to having a Pap smear. When indicated, the colposcopy procedure is performed during your consultation with Brisbane colposcopy specialist Dr Amy Tang or Dr Archana Rao.

Why should I see a gynaecological oncologist?

As a gynaecological oncologists who specialise in diagnosing and treating cervical cancer, Dr Amy Tang and Dr Archana Rao understand that when a woman is referred to her with an abnormal Pap smear result, they are often very anxious about what’s going on, and she will do everything possible to explain to you what she is doing and what she is seeing as she performs the colposcopy. They will be able to tell you her preliminary diagnosis as soon as she has finished the colposcopy. In the majority of cases, the abnormality is a pre-cancerous change of the cervix that is NOT cancer. The role of the Pap smear is to screen for early pre-cancerous changes of the cervix, and these cervical abnormalities can be easily treated to prevent the future development of cervical cancer.

As a sub-specialist gynaecologists whose primary focus is female malignancies, Dr Amy Tang and Dr Archana Rao are very experienced colposcopists. Many women from all over Brisbane are referred to them for Colposcopy when they have an abnormal Pap smear. Before they started private practice in Brisbane, she was a consultant staff specialist in gynaecological oncology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, where they supervised and taught many junior gynaecologists in performing colposcopy and treatment procedures for cervical abnormalities. They have extensive experience in treating pre-cancerous abnormalities of the cervix, including LLETZ procedure, Cone Biopsy, and Laser ablation procedures of the cervix. They are accredited colposcopists of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

Dr Amy Tang Gynaecologist
Dr Archana Rao

Early Appointments for Colposcopy

As a female gynaecologist, Dr Amy Tang and Dr Archana Rao understand that many women are very anxious after being told that their Pap smear result is abnormal. It is important to realise that most of the time, this does NOT mean you have cervical cancer. In order to avoid prolonging the unnecessary anxiety, our Colposcopy specialists will try to prioritise appointments, so that women referred to her for colposcopy can usually be seen within 2 weeks. To make an urgent appointment, call 3319 1515, or complete the “Request an Appointment” form below.

Who should have a Colposcopy?

In addition to women with abnormal Pap smear results, colposcopy may also be recommended for other women with bleeding after sexual intercourse, persistent vaginal discharge and an abnormal appearance of the cervix.

Continuity of Care for Women Diagnosed with Cancer

As gynaecological oncologists, Dr Amy Tang and Dr Archana Rao are experienced in surgery for treatment of cervical cancer in the event that cervical cancer is diagnosed at the time of your colposcopy. This not only ensures continuity of care, but it also means that you do not have to wait for another sub-specialist referral to see a gynaecological oncologist after your initial colposcopy. This avoids any delay in treatment. It also avoids the need and expense to see yet another specialist, avoiding the need to answer the same questions from another specialist again. It also means that any questions or concerns you have about cervical cancer will be answered straight away, as they will continue to be your specialist treating your cervical cancer.

Gynaecology Practice located at Watkins Medical Centre, opposite the Mill on Wickham Terrace in Brisbane

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