Abnormal Pap smears may provoke anxiety, but your results don’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. Jeffrey Yu, MD PC, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, evaluates abnormal Pap smears with a colposcopy. To learn more about abnormal Pap smears and colposcopy, call the New York City office, or schedule an appointment online today.
An abnormal Pap smear means the results of your Pap smear are positive. A colposcopy is a follow-up procedure Dr. Yu performs to find out what your abnormal Pap smear results mean.
A Pap smear is a routine test for cervical cancer. During the test, Dr. Yu collects a sample of cells from your cervix and sends it to the pathology lab for evaluation. Most Pap smears are negative.
When you have abnormal Pap smears, the pathologist finds unusual cells, but not necessarily cancer.
Abnormal cells cause abnormal Pap smears. The cells that make your Pap smear abnormal include:
ASCUS means you have slightly unusual squamous cells (thin, flat cells on the surface of your cervix), but it’s not clear that these cells are precancerous.
Squamous intraepithelial lesion is a term that indicates the cells are precancerous.
Glandular cells are in the opening of the cervix and produce mucus. The presence of typical granular cells means these cells are slightly abnormal but not cancerous.
If the pathologist finds squamous cell cancer or adenocarcinoma cells, it’s likely you have cervical cancer.
Dr. Yu performs the colposcopy at the office to further investigate why you had an abnormal Pap smear. It’s a diagnostic test with a magnifying device that allows Dr. Yu to closely examine the lining of your cervix.
During the colposcopy, you lie back on the exam table with your knees bent and spread. Dr. Yu places a speculum in your vagina to separate the walls and improve the view of the cervix. He swabs the cervical tissue with a special solution to highlight the abnormal tissue.
He looks through the lens of the colposcope to evaluate the cervix and take tissue samples.
Dr. Yu explains the findings of your abnormal Pap smear and colposcopy and what happens next. If you have moderate to severe changes in the tissue of your cervix, Dr. Yu may perform an in-office loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP) to remove the tissue and lower your risk of complications.
A colposcopy after an abnormal Pap smear ensures you get the right diagnosis and treatment. To learn more, call Jeffrey Yu, MD PC, or schedule an appointment online today.