Treatment of Abnormal Pap Smears

 

Pap smears are the screening tool for cervical cancer.  Changes in the cells of the cervix can be seen by the pathologist reading the Pap smear.  These changes may range from mild to severe, and based upon the severity of the changes, the physician will further investigate or treat the pathological findings.

Many times after an abnormality is seen on a pap smear, the physician will recommend a colposcopy. This procedure allows a closer and more accurate view of the cervix and the ability to perform cervical biopsies.

When performing a colposcopy, the physician has the option of performing biopsies. The biopsy specimens are sent to the pathologist for evaluation.  Depending upon these results, the gynecologist will devise a treatment plan based upon the amount of change or dysplasia in the cervical cells.

Some Pap smear results require no treatment but will increase the amount of cervical surveillance. For cases of severe dysplasia, the physician may recommend an excisional procedure often called a LEEP.  A LEEP removes a portion of the cervix along with the unhealthy cells.  A close relationship and follow-up with the physician is extremely important in cervical cancer screening and treatment.

Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Screening

Understanding Abnormal Pap Smear Results