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Ob-Gyn Coding Alert

What Is Colposcopy?

From the Ob-Gyn Coding Alert
Extra Supplement on Endoscopic Procedures

With a clear understanding of what colposcopy procedures involve, coders can more readily interpret physician documentation precisely to ensure proper payment. During a colposcopy, the physician looks at the surface of the vagina and cervix using a special lighted magnifying instrument called a colposcope. This device magnifies the doctors view 2 to 60 times the normal size, allowing the physician to see abnormalities that would be missed by the naked eye. Generally, the physician uses this procedure when the patients Pap test results are abnormal. Doctors may also use the colposcope to investigate sores such as genital warts found on or around the vagina and cervix. Follow-up colposcopies are common, especially when the physician is monitoring abnormal areas of the vagina or cervix for changes or determining a treatments success. If the doctor detects abnormalities with the colposcope, he or she can use the device to take small tissue samples and send them to a pathology lab to determine if they are cancerous or precancerous.

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