Pap Smear After Hysterectomy

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: January 26, 2012

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Do I still need to get a PAP test and gyn exam if I had a hysterectomy?


Stephen Rubin, MD, Gynecologic Oncologist at Penn Medicine, responds:

Current recommendations are that women who have had a total hysterectomy (both uterus and cervix removed) for benign conditions and have no history of abnormal Paps do not need Paps. Gynecology exams should still be done periodically to focus on other issues.

If the hysterectomy was done for treatment of a cancer or the cervix remains (partial hysterectomy), then pap tests should be continued. These tests can detect abnormalities in vaginal tissue, which can be caused by HPV. Women over 65 should discuss their options with their gynecologist as some can stop testing.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Focus on Gynecologic Cancers transcript.

Also tied to lower risk of ovarian cancer than hysterectomy plus ovarian conservation

Apr 28, 2011 - Elective bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with hysterectomy is associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer than ovarian conservation and hysterectomy, and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy does not appear to have adverse effects on cardiovascular health, hip fracture, cancer, or total mortality compared with ovarian conservation and hysterectomy, according to research published in the April 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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