If your GP rings with an abnormal smear result, it's common to feel stressed or alarmed. Thankfully these early cell changes can be treated with great success.
Treatment can be performed in our rooms using a colposcope, a telescope that can look at the cervix in detail. I’m holding a colposcope in the picture.
Colposcopy allows small abnormal areas on the cervix to be identified and a tiny biopsy taken. The procedure is about as uncomfortable as the original pap smear procedure performed by the GP.
The biopsy is used to confirm the abnormality suggested by the Pap smear.
Sometimes a second procedure is recommended to remove the pre-cancerous cells. This procedure, called a LLETZ, removes the abnormal cells but leaves all the healthy cells of the cervix in place. This is important as the cervix has a big job to do if a woman chooses to have babies!
The LLETZ procedure can be done under local anaesthetic in my consulting rooms. It can also be done under a quick general anaesthetic in the hospital.
Smear tests prevent cancer of the cervix. Abnormal smear results can be alarming but colposcopy and treatment is usually straightforward. If your GP recommends a gynaecologist review please make an appointment.
Remember - all surgical procedures have risks. Your suitability for any operation should be discussed with your GP and specialist.