A Pap test that reveals abnormal cells doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. However, it may mean that you need additional tests or treatment. At South Shore Women's Care in West Islip and Lindenhurst, New York, experienced OB/GYN Larissa Fomitcheva, MD, provides personalized care for women with abnormal Pap test results. Call the nearest office or request an appointment online today to learn what you need to do after an abnormal Pap test.
A Pap test, also known as a Pap smear, is a simple test that plays a critical role in detecting precancerous changes to your cervical cells. Getting routine Pap tests is the best way to prevent cervical cancer.
Your Pap test gets analyzed in a lab, where they look for abnormal or precancerous cells. If any unusual cells are present, your test results come back positive.
A positive Pap test result isn’t a cancer diagnosis. Positive results can mean different things depending on the type of cells that are detected.
If your Pap test results are positive, you may need to schedule an appointment at South Shore Women's Care. Dr. Fomitcheva explains what type of cells they discovered in your test and recommends the best course of action.
Depending on your situation, Dr. Fomitcheva may perform a colposcopy, which involves examining your cervix through a special magnifying lens. She may swipe your cervix with acetic acid, which causes abnormal cells to turn white. If she sees an area of abnormal cells, she may perform a cervical biopsy, which involves removing a small tissue sample for lab testing.
If you’ve had an abnormal Pap test and didn’t need a colposcopy, it’s likely you won’t need any additional treatment.
If you’ve had a colposcopy with a biopsy, you should expect to hear from Dr. Fomitcheva after your biopsy results come back from the lab. She explains the changes in your tissue sample and recommends the most appropriate treatment.
Changes in cervical cells may be low-grade, which means they’re unlikely to turn into cancer.
If your results show moderate- to high-grade changes, Dr. Fomitcheva may suggest removing the abnormal cervical tissue. She may remove the abnormal cells with a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or a cold knife cone biopsy. A LEEP uses a heated wire loop to cut away a thin layer of abnormal tissue, which also goes to a lab for analysis.
For expert follow-up testing and treatment after an abnormal Pap test, call South Shore Women's Care or request an appointment online today.