Abnormal pap smears and Colposcopy

Abnormal pap smears

The finding on pap smear of abnormal cells that can be precancerous (dysplasia) is a common problem. Related to an infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) commonly called the wart virus, some may progress to cancer of the neck of the womb. If detected, treatment can be offered to deal with the problem. The incidence of cancer has reduced significantly over years due to this simple form of surveillance. With the advent of the HPV vaccine, this has helped to reduce further the occurrence of such changes.

The Pap smear will soon be replaced with the use of specific tests for HPV alone on a 5 yearly screening program commencing from age 25 years in asymptomatic women. However, if you already have changes and are being actively managed for it, this new program does not apply.

Should there be abnormalities be detected, then further investigations will be required. This will involve a colposcopy. I perform this in my Rooms. If abnormal changes are confirmed, then treatment may be required. Depending on the severity, they may include:

  • LLETZ to the abnormal area
  • Cone biopsy
  • regular monitoring with colposcopy
  • Close regular follow up is essential for women affected by these changes. I can discuss these with you if you have concerns.