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Introduction

If you receive a phone call from our office informing you that your pap smear is abnormal, don’t panic. You DO NOT have cervical cancer, but you will most likely need further evaluation. The following information will help you understand your abnormality.

Categories of pap smears from normal to more abnormal

  • Normal Pap Smear
  • Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance without Human Papilloma Virus (ASCUS, neg HPV) / Variant of Normal Pap
  • Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance with Human Papilloma Virus (ASCUS, pos HPV)
  • Atypical Gladular Cells of Undetermined Significance
  • Low Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion (LGSIL)
  • High Grade Sqamous Intraepithelial Lesion (HGSIL)
  • Carcinoma In Situ (CIS)
  • Cervical Cancer

How is it Treated?

Almost all abnormal pap smears are due to a virus called the human papillomavirus or HPV. Because this abnormality is caused by a virus your body may fight off the infection and your paps return to normal. Sometimes, however, the virus persists and you will need treatment or further observation. Any of the above pap smears that are starred will most likely require a procedure called a colposcopy to evaluate your cervix. A colposcopy will help determine if the abnormality requires treatment right away or whether we only have to follow you with additional pap smears throughout the year.
Colposcopy: a procedure that is performed in the office. The exam is just like a pap smear, but your cervix is evaluated with a special microscope after applying a vinegar solution over the cervix. The vinegar solution causes any significant abnormalities to appear white.
Biopsy: If there are any significant lesions, a biopsy may be taken of the area for evaluation in the lab. The biopsy is usually not uncomfortable and most women do not even feel it being done. Your cervix does not have nerve endings like your skin. After the biopsy a medicine is applied that will stop any bleeding from the biopsy site. This can cause some cramping like menstral cramps. If you want to take some Ibuprofen prior to your procedure, this can help with the cramping. The results from the biospy will take about 1-2 weeks to receive. Unless the results require that we do any further procedures, you will need a repeat pap in 4-6 months.