Complete Healthcare for Women
OB/GYNs located in Loxahatchee, FL
Pap smears are key to identifying cervical cancer cells and even precancerous cells which can be treated appropriately as well as other reproductive illnesses that can affect your overall health. At Complete Healthcare for Women in Wellington, Florida, the skilled team of physicians offers in-office Pap smears and comprehensive services to manage and treat issues that cause abnormal results. If you haven’t had a Pap smear recently or it’s been some time since your last wellness checkup, schedule one today using the online system or by calling the office to learn more.
Abnormal Pap Smear Q & A
What is a Pap smear?
A Pap smear is a minimally invasive diagnostic test that can detect changes in your cervical cells, known as dysplasia, which may result in cancer. The frequency recommended for routine Pap smear screenings varies between every three and five years, depending on your age and health conditions, however, your Complete Healthcare for Women physician can advise you when you need to be screened for optimal health.
The goal of a Pap smear is to identify potential issues that can affect your health as early as possible for a successful outcome.
What’s involved in a Pap smear?
During a routine pelvic exam, your Complete Healthcare for Women doctor can perform a Pap smear to evaluate the cells in your cervix. The test is relatively painless in which your doctor uses an instrument inserted into the vagina then along spatula and brush to collect a sample of cells from the cervix and cervical canal.
They send the cell sample to a medical lab for further evaluation. Test results will either come back normal, indicating no cell changes, or abnormal.
What do abnormal Pap smear results mean?
If your Pap smear test comes back as abnormal, it doesn’t automatically mean you have cancer. In fact, there are several reasons you may have an abnormal Pap smear, including:
- Yeast infection
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Precancerous cells
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Abnormal Pap smear results are relatively common, and there may be many reasons for your result. For example, you may even have an abnormal Pap smear result due to recent sexual activity.
If your initial results are abnormal, your Complete Healthcare for Women provider may have you undergo another Pap smear before suggesting other diagnostic tests.
If an abnormal Pap smear suggests precancerous or cancerous cells, your doctor may recommend a colposcopy, which uses a special magnifying lens to get a better look at cervical cells. During this procedure, your Complete Healthcare for Women provider will perform biopsies from the cervix. If these biopsies reveal severely abnormal or even cancerous cells, you will have a discussion regarding further evaluation with LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure)/ cone biopsy, a procedure where a larger portion of the cervix is removed for further analysis.
How are precancerous or cancerous cells treated?
There are several options for addressing precancerous or cancerous cells in the cervix. Your Complete Healthcare for Women doctor may discuss freezing the abnormal tissue to destroy the abnormal area of cells.
They may recommend a loop electrosurgical excision procedure, or LEEP, which uses a loop-shaped device to remove abnormal areas of cervical cells and can be safely performed in the office setting, depending on the patient’s situation.
After either of these procedures, your doctor monitors your cervical health to ensure abnormal cells don’t return. You may need more frequent Pap smears to carefully monitor your situation.
Protect your reproductive health by scheduling a Pap smear today online or by calling the office.