Abnormal Pap Smear Specialist

Though Pap smears are a regular part of your pelvic exams, it may be disconcerting when you learn of abnormal results. One of the significant benefits of Pap smears is that they reveal possible problems years before they become significant health risks. Dr. Susanne Ramos and her team in Santa Barbara, California, routinely perform Pap tests and can put your mind at ease about what abnormal results really mean. Contact the office today to set up an appointment or book it online.

Abnormal Pap Smears Q & A

by Susanne Ramos, MD

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a simple swab taken from your cervix during the pelvic exam portion of your well woman visit. The swab is placed into a small sample jar, then the cells are analyzed under a microscope in a lab. The analysis looks for abnormal cells that indicate cervical cancer or, most likely, changes to these cells that may develop into cancer in the future.

Most women between the ages of 21 and 64 need a Pap test every three years. But since you may need one more often, depending on your health, Dr. Ramos determines the frequency based on your situation.

What results can I expect from a Pap Smear?

A negative result for a Pap smear is a good result. This means that there is no sign of cell abnormality. You don’t need further testing until your next scheduled Pap smear in three years, unless Dr. Ramos feels there’s a need to test more often.

A positive result means that some abnormal cells were found. In most cases, the abnormal cells come from some types of human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that may linger in your body for years without symptoms. Typically, the cell changes are temporary and will pass with no treatment required.

Some types of HPV, however, are linked to cervical cancer. These, too, produce abnormal Pap results, so while a single abnormal Pap test is usually not an immediate concern, it’s a sign that you should monitor it closely. Dr. Ramos will likely schedule another test to rule out a false positive test, and may advise that you have Pap smears annually going forward.

What is a false positive test?

Both false positive and false negative results are possible for any single Pap test. False positive tests, where abnormal cells are thought to be present but aren’t, are relatively rare. A false positive test is usually followed by a second Pap smear or a procedure called a colposcopy to verify that there are indeed pre-cancerous or abnormal cells present. Further treatment proceeds only after confirmation of a positive result.

Testimonials

Words from our patients

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    "Dr. Ramos is the best doctor I've ever had. She's personable, knowledgeable, dedicated to her patients, and attentive. I feel very lucky to have found her."

    Christin A.
  • Vitals

    "I have had 4 different OBGYN's in the past 15 years and she has been the best. I recommend her to everyone. Just wish I knew about her when I had my kids!"

    Verified Patient
  • Yelp

    "Dr. Ramos is excellent. She coached me through labor like a champion and exuded competence and calm throughout. Highly recommended."

    Mar P.
  • Vitals

    "Dr. Ramos is very professional and caring. I am very grateful for her knowledge and help during the birth of my baby."

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  • Yelp

    "Dr. Ramos is as good as it gets! She is intelligent, thorough, compassionate, funny and generous with her time. My wife and I recommend her to everyone!"

    Sean F.
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    "She's kind, compassionate, caring, extremely knowledgable in her field, a mother of four, and really keeps you sane during your pregnancy."

    Lauren C.
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    "You will never find a more caring doctor and staff!!!! She is absolutely the best. She takes the time to listen and care."

    DeeDee H.
  • Yelp

    "Dr Ramos was an excellent doctor with a great knowledge and a lot of patience,I was diagnosed with PCOS during my visit but she never let me down..."

    Silpa V.
Location
Susanne Ramos, MD
2323 Oak Park Lane, Suite 101
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone: 805-395-9211
Fax: 805-682-7265
Office Hours

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805-395-9211