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HealthInfo Canterbury

Treatment after an abnormal smear result

It can be worrying to get an "abnormal" smear result, but it's important to remember that when you have treatment for abnormal cells, they're unlikely to develop into cervical cancer in the future.

The treatment involves removing the abnormal cells, and is successful 95% of the time.

If your results just show some mildly abnormal cells, monitoring to see what happens is often the best option. You'll be invited to have 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 moderately abnormal smear results.

Both the cone biopsy and the LLETZ biopsy remove the abnormal cells, with some normal cells around them. The doctor will send the sample to the pathology lab for detailed testing.

Depending on the results, you may need further treatment. Afterwards you'll need to have lifelong screening, either through colposcopies or smear tests. Your doctor will advise what follow-up is best for you.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed September 2021.


Page reference: 278006

Review key: HICES-20461