A pap smear or a pap test is screening to test for an early diagnosis of cervical cancer. It is still necessary to get a pap smear after a hysterectomy in many cases. For partial hysterectomies, on the uterus is removed and the cervix is still in place making it necessary to be regularly tested. If a woman had a partial or a total hysterectomy due to the cancer-related issue, it is still important to continue to get consistent pap tests. However, if a women has a total hysterectomy for a noncancerous reason it is not necessary to have annual tests.
Age is an important factor when determining if having a pap smear after a hysterectomy is important. The American Cancer Society Las Vegas suggests that women over the age 65 that have had normal screenings, whether they have had a hysterectomy or not, are low-risk for cervical cancer and may not need yearly tests. It is thought that more women than necessary are getting yearly pap smears after a hysterectomy.
Other factors that may factor into whether or not a women should continue to get regular pap smears after a hysterectomy may include if that women had any abnormal pap tests before the surgery or if they have immune deficiencies. In unique cases, women who have been exposed to diethylstilbestrol, or DES, in utero also need to have pap smears after hysterectomy because DES increases the risk of a rare form of vaginal cancer.
It is important to consult with your doctor about your specific case whether or not you need to be getting pap smears after a hysterectomy. If you have any questions, please visit our website for more information at nvscc.com or call us at 702-739-6467.