Hearing that you’ve had an abnormal Pap smear can strike fear into a woman’s heart, but an abnormal result doesn’t mean you should be too worried. The team of gynecologists at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group in Park Slope, Bay Ridge, and Staten Island, New York, are dedicated to providing accurate and helpful information to women for all of their health care needs. Discussing your Pap results with them helps you understand what they mean and decide on a course of action if required. If you need a Pap test, call one of the offices today or book an appointment online.
A Pap smear forms an important part of a woman’s health routine, as it can pick up the changes in cells that could be the first stages of cervical cancer. Your doctor collects cells by swabbing your cervix, then tests the cells for any abnormalities. It’s important to have a Pap smear regularly, and if the results are negative, that means all is well, and there’s no sign of any cell changes.
Pap smears are often negative, and most women don’t have anything to worry about. The women’s health team at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group perform numerous Pap smears every year and can interpret your results to clarify what they mean.
If tests show any changes in the cells taken from your cervix, the first thing to remember is that it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. There are other reasons why the cells can change, including inflammation or what is called dysplasia, which means that there are minor changes, but there’s no sign of anything that need cause alarm.
In these cases, your doctor may check another Pap smear in a few months’ time, to see if the cells have returned to normal. If they haven’t, you may need further tests, such as a colposcopy.
In just the same way as you had your Pap smear in the first place, your doctor opens your vagina with a speculum, but this time looks for any abnormalities on your cervix using a tool called a colposcope. The colposcope enables your doctor to see the surface tissues clearly and spot anything that doesn’t look normal. Sometimes your provider swabs your cervix with a special liquid to help pinpoint any differences that need to be investigated.
If there’s any cause for concern, your doctor performs a biopsy, which means taking a sample for further analysis. The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group does an in-office colposcopy, which means you can have your test done quickly and in familiar surroundings.
If you have unusual cervical cells, you may need to have a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), which uses a tool with a heated wire loop to remove any tissues that look abnormal. Your doctor carries out this procedure under local anesthetic, and it normally only takes around 10 minutes.
If your doctor is concerned about the possibility that of cancerous or precancerous cells, they’ll discuss what they’ve found and how to proceed. Doctors at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group have years of experience in treating women with abnormal Pap smears, so call one of the offices today or book an appointment online.