If you’ve had an abnormal Pap smear, don’t panic. Approximately 10% of Pap tests have abnormal results, and it’s rarely due to cervical cancer. James Neal, MD, and Florence Villa Quinata, MD, provide compassionate and comprehensive follow-up testing and treatment for abnormal Pap smears at Platinum Women’s Health in Murrieta and Temecula, California. Whether you’re due for your next Pap smear or if you’ve had abnormal results, call the practice or book an appointment online today.
Abnormal Pap smears are very common. While irregular results should always be taken seriously, they’re infrequently due to cancer. Some of the reasons your Pap smear results may be abnormal include:
However, you may also have an abnormal result because your doctor didn’t collect a sufficient sample of cells during your Pap smear.
If your doctor calls to let you know your Pap smear results are abnormal, stay calm. Schedule a follow-up appointment so your doctor can perform more tests to identify the cause of your irregular results.
In some cases, your doctor may need to perform another Pap smear to get a better sample of cells for testing or do a colposcopy to examine your cervix in more detail. Your doctor may collect a biopsy or perform a procedure to remove abnormal cells during a colposcopy.
A colposcope is a diagnostic device that provides a magnified view of your cervix. The colposcope stays outside of your body during the entire procedure.
Similar to when you have a Pap smear, you lie on a treatment table with your feet in stirrups and a blanket over your legs. Dr. Neal or Dr. Quinata inserts a speculum into your vagina to hold it open and allow a clear view of your cervix. They position the colposcope outside of your body and peer through it for a magnified view of your cervix.
Colposcopy isn’t painful, although your doctor may apply a vinegar solution to your cervix which may sting a little. The solution makes HPV lesions and genital warts easier to see and diagnose. Your doctor may also perform a biopsy during your colposcopy, which may cause a moment of discomfort.
If your the results of your colposcopy or biopsy indicate cancerous or precancerous cells, your doctor schedules another appointment to remove the abnormal cells with a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or cryotherapy, or to start any additional necessary treatment.
Call Platinum Women’s Health or make an appointment online today for expert, compassionate care following abnormal Pap smear results.