ABNORMAL PAP SMEARS AND COLPOSCOPY

Your GP may refer you to a gynaecologist for a colposcopy due to an abnormal pap smear. Specialist gynaecologists require additional certification to perform these procedures. Both Dr Vanessa King and Dr Miranda Robinson are accredited to perform colposcopy and manage abnormal-pap smears.

A pap smear is a tests where a plastic brush is swept over the cervix and cells obtained to examine under a microscope. It is a screening test to detect pre-cancerous changes of the cervix. The changes are usually divided into low grade or high grade.

A colposcopy further evaluates these changes. A speculum examination (the same as when a smear is taken) is performed with the woman on a special gynaecological chair. Fluid is applied to the cervis that highlights changes when looked at with a microscope (the colposcope). If changes are seen a small biopsy (a few mm only) is taken. Some women feel this as a pinch and others feel noghting. Some spotting or discharge may occur in the following few days.

Results will be back within a week and observation or treatment of the changes planned. Treatment usually involves a LLETZ procedure which removes the abnormal cells. This is performed in an operating theatre under general anesthetic as a day case.