A Pap Smear is an easy test your doctor can perform for you. A speculum is placed in your vagina to allow the cervix to be seen. A small brush is then used to gently collect cells that are normally shed from the lining of the cervix into the surrounding mucus. The collected cells are then brushed into a liquid test medium that is sent to the lab to be examined under a microscope. The Technologist examining these cells has been specially trained to identify changes that are associated with pre-cancerous transformation.
A Colposcopy allows your healthcare provider to examine the cervix in detail.
Most abnormalities on a Pap Smear do not require treatment. A colposcopy will usually be recommended to determine the cause and source of an abnormal Pap Smear.
Majority of pre-cancerous lesions or changes of the cervix can be treated easily with simple procedures that are performed right in your healthcare doctor's office or clinic.
Your healthcare provider will be able to explain these options to you in greater detail, but these are some of the more common treatments.
This simple procedure is sometimes also referred to as a LLETZ (Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone). It uses an electrically powered loop to remove abnormal portions of the cervix. An injection to numb the cervix and prevent bleeding is usually given before this simple procedure is performed. Hence, the procedure is usually painless. You can expect some light bleeding or spotting but no more than expected in a normal menstrual period.
'This procedure involves the removal of a larger cone-shaped portion of the cervix. A cone biopsy is usually recommended when pre-cancerous or cancerous changes are found in the canal or tunnel-like portion of the internal part of the cervix. This simple procedure can be performed in the office under local anaesthesia or more commonly in an operating suite under general anaesthesia. Lasers or electrosurgical instruments are most commonly used to remove the abnormal portion of cervix. Although less than a menstrual period, more bleeding can be expected after a cone biopsy because a larger portion of the cervix is removed as compared to a LEEP. Mild cramping may be expected after a cone biopsy. Your healthcare provider will usually recommend that you avoid having sexual intercourse for about two weeks to allow your cervix to heal from the procedure. You will not need to be hospitalised after a cone biopsy.
Depending on where the abnormal lesions are on the cervix, cold coagulation or other treatment options that completely destroy the abnormal areas completely may be offered. These treatment options use heat, freezing temperatures or laser energy to destroy the abnormal tissue of pre-cancerous lesions on the cervix. These procedures are painless and usually associated with some mild discomfort like abdominal cramping. Minimal bleeding can also be expected. There will usually be more watery or thick yellow vaginal discharge in the seven days following the procedure as the cervix heals.