Monday, April 22, 2013

Ask Us Anything: What Does My Abnormal Pap Smear Mean?

"I am a 54 year old woman and I recently had an abnormal pap smear for the first time. My doctor repeated the smear and the second one was also abnormal. My doctor recommended that I undergo a colposcopy. What does this mean?"

Dr. Ali Ghomi Responds:

Abnormal pap smears are very common in women of all ages. It is somewhat unusual for the abnormality to present itself at the age of 50.

Having said that, the next step of the management would involve colposcopy, as you alluded to. The physician would look at the cervix under magnification in the office and would take small biopsies of the cervix if there are suspicious areas. This is very important to exclude early cervical cancer, the likelihood of which would be extremely low.

Most likely, the cervical abnormality or dysplasia can be managed by  partially removing part of the cervix (LEEP procedure) or closely monitoring the abnormality in hopes of spontaneous resolution by body's immune system.

In conclusion, it is very important for you to follow-up with your doctor. Based on the information provided, you will be fine and don't let this be a source of anxiety.  Good luck.

– Dr. Ali Ghomi

Dr. Ghomi is the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and Chair of The Robotic Surgical Committee at Sisters of Charity Hospital. He is the only physician in Western New York who performs Sacrocolpopexy Prolapse surgery using the da Vinci® robot. Sacrocolpopexy is a proven “gold standard” procedure worldwide to repair severe pelvic prolapse. Click here to learn more about Catholic Health's OB/GYN services.

Dr. Ghomi sees patients at the M. Steven Piver, M.D. Center for Women’s Health & Wellness in Buffalo.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

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