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Pap smear

A Pap is a screening tool. During a Pap exam, a swab is scraped across the cervix to collect loose cells as specimens. Some of the cells may "look like" they have HPV infection under the microscope because HPV infected cells have a “characteristic” appearance to them. If two Paps are taken within a week of each other, the second Pap will likely appear normal because there will no longer be loose abnormal cells to scrape off for examination. For this reason, it is best to wait a couple of weeks between Paps. After a Pap is taken, a colposcopy and biopsy may appear normal if the Pap has scraped off all the abnormal cells, particularly if the dysplasia was mild or very localized.

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Cervical Dysplasia
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Dr. Joe Glickman, Jr., M.D.

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