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Do I still need a yearly pap smear?
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to hysterectomy, such as: abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy, Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, LAVH, menopause, Oopherectomy, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, radical hysterectomy, subtotal hysterectomy, supracervical or partial hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, and vaginal hysterectomy.

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Do I still need a yearly pap smear?

Do you still need to get a pap smear if you have had a partial hyst and no longer have a cervix. I had a doctor tell me some years ago that since I no longer had a cervix, I did not need a pap smear??? What about a smear for vaginal CA? I was very confused by this information, could you please help me with this. Also is there any means of knowing whether I am menopausal, when I have'nt had a period for 18 years. I had my partial hyst at 27 and am now 45 yrs old and experiencing classic night sweats, mood swings, etc.. Are serum hormone levels true indicators and would they confirm menopause?
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Pap smear is for cervical ca, and since you don't have a cervix the answer would be no. However if you were to have any symptoms suggesting vaginal cancer then you would certainly bring that to you doctors attention. Did they take your ovaries when they took your uterus? If they didnt take your ovaries then they are still functioning I would think, however  I can't really answer your question when you say partial it seems to mean different things to different people.
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Thanks for your reply madge. By partial hyst I mean they removed my uterus only, I still have tubes and ovaries, so I am still ovulating.......although I believe that has slowed, because I am beginning to experience menopausal symptoms.
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I was told the opposite of what you and Madge were told.

It does get frustrating when different doctors have different opinions...thus, I guess, the second opinion!

Years ago before I started to have all the problems that led to a hysterectomy, I remember one of the doctors in the OB/GYN practice say that "women think that if they have a hysterectomy they can stop getting pap smears." I recall asking why one would get a pap after the cervix is removed (as is the case for me) and she mentioned Vaginal cancer right away. From what I understand, this is a rare cancer, but can be devastating results (this was a hard statement to write since we all know that all cancer is devastating, but we also know that some are more treatable than others. Vaginal cancer is one of the nastier ones as far as I know).

I had my hysterectomy in 2000 and still have yearly paps (vaginal swab).

SInce it is such an easy part of the exam, too, all things considered, why not have one for peace of mind?

Hormonally, it sounds like you are going through many changes. The book that got me through the early rougher patch of surgical menopause (for any type of menopause...it is a great book) was "The Wisdom of Menopause" by Christianne Northrup, MD.

Take care and I hope this information helped, but I do know that this stuff gets confusing!

Mary
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Thanks for your reply Mary! I have an appt. with a gynecologist next week, so hopefully I will have a confirmation on this pap smear issue. As nurse, you would think I would have some knowledge about this. But when the doctor tells you otherwise....it does get confusing. I know you are right about the vaginal swab and yes it is rare to get vaginal CA, but nevertheless it can happen.  

Thanks for the book referral, I love to read and I need some menopause wisdom!

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I have had everything removed and my gyno told me a pap every 2-3 years. Based on what she sees during a well woman exam, would determine if it's 2 or 3.
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If you do not have a cervix they cannot swab it, however I suppose they can swab your vagina if they wanted to.  If you have a history of cancer then yes I would advise a vaginal smear regularly.
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569829_tn?1216899494
hi...

i'm booked for a radical hyst in august... can anyone tell me from experience how long took to recover?
the doct told me 6wks but the nurse in pre-op told me it's more like3 months before i can walk or go to work.

my partner is due to go away just 4 wks after my op, so i'm worried that i might not be able to a few things at home by myself...


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I had a complete hysto. many years ago and get a vaginal pap smear every other year.
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I had a total hyster in Feb. this year and my doctor told me I need the vaginal pap every year, so I guess all doctors are different with different suggestions.

sofia136 - 4 weeks post op will be okay for you to do "light" duties around the house, but NO heavy lifting. But everyone heals differently than others - some heal faster, some heal slower. If you are not comfortable after 4 weeks see if you can have a friend or a family member help you.
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