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Treatment after an abnormal smear

Your treatment after an abnormal smear result will depend on how advanced the changes are.

For women whose results show some just mildly abnormal cells, monitoring to see what happens is often the best option. This means you will have repeated smear tests more often, to make sure the results are not getting worse.

In some cases, it may be best to investigate further. There are three common procedures for women who have moderately abnormal smear results.

You may be referred for a colposcopy, which involves looking at your cervix through an instrument called a colposcope. It is similar to having a cervical smear test. This is done at the Colposcopy Department at Christchurch Women's Hospital.

If your results show more serious changes, or if they're not clear, then your doctor will advise you to have a cone biopsy or a LLETZ biopsy. Both of these procedures remove the abnormal cells, with some normal cells around them.

The laboratory will check the cells, and you may need further treatment, depending on what the results show. You will need to continue monitoring for life, either through colposcopies or smear tests.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Canterbury DHB, November 2016.

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Page reference: 278006

Review key: HICES-20461