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Pipelle Endometrial Biopsy

What is a Pipelle Endometrial Biopsy?

Pipelle endometrial biopsy is a procedure to take a small sample of the lining of the uterus. No general anaesthetic is needed for this procedure so you can have the procedure done in Dr. Penman’s Outpatient clinic and, if there are no complications, usually go home the same day.

When is a Pipelle Endometrial Biopsy Conducted?

Pipelle endometrial biopsy is frequently used for women who are experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding. A biopsy (small sample) of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) is taken and tested to help rule out unusual findings, such as endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer is rare and, in most cases, detected early, leading to a very high survival rate after 5 years [Source: Cancer Research UK].

What is Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding?

Abnormal vaginal bleeding is different for every woman. But pipelle endometrial biopsy is usually conducted on postmenopausal women who have not had any vaginal bleeding in a long time.

How is a Pipelle Endometrial Biopsy taken?

Pipelle endometrial biopsy is very similar to having a cervical screening sample taken.

When you arrive at the hospital, you will be welcomed by a member of the hospital staff who will check you in and let Dr. Penman know you have arrived. The time you have booked for your appointment is the time you will be seen – there are no waiting times when you book to see Dr. Penman privately.

Dr. Penman will come to greet you and show you to the clinic room where he will ask you for any personal details relevant to the appointment and conduct the pipelle endometrial biopsy.

Before your biopsy is taken, you’ll be asked to undress from the waist down and lie on a bed. A speculum will be gently inserted into your vagina and hold the walls of the vagina open. The pipelle (a very thin plastic tube) is then gently inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. There, it is moved back and forth to take a sample of the uterine lining for testing.

During and immediately after the biopsy, you may feel some mild cramping or aching, but this is temporary. If you are at all worried about the discomfort, please let Dr. Penman know and he will do everything possible to make you more comfortable.

Very occasionally it is not possible to take a sample in Dr. Penman’s Outpatient clinic. If this is the case, Dr. Penman will advise a short general anaesthetic so he can dilate the cervix and take the sample whilst you are asleep.

What happens after the Pipelle Endometrial Biopsy is taken?

After the biopsy has been done and a sample collected, the sample is sent for examination in a laboratory. This is to help rule out any suspicions of endometrial carcinoma. Dr. Penman will contact you to discuss the results.