A pap smear is a routine test performed during an annual wellness exam. During the test a small sample of cells is gently removed from the cervix and sent for screening to assess for any abnormalities. The test only takes a few minutes and should not be painful. Dr. Patterson and his team understand that some women may find the test embarrassing and do their best to provide a comfortable environment for women to have this essential test performed. Pap smears are recommended for women from the age of 21 through menopause, or earlier if the patient is sexually active. Generally, a pap smear is recommended every 3 years unless the patient is at higher risk for developing cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer and other conditions that affect the vagina and reproductive system are often symptomless. Pap smears are the most effective test to identify conditions that may indicate risks at an early stage. As with many medical conditions, treatment is easier and more effective when provided earlier rather than later. For example, if a patient has abnormal cells on her cervix, Dr. Patterson can provide treatments to remove those cells before they develop into pre-cancerous or cancerous cells. It is important to note that it is not uncommon to have abnormal results and in most cases treatment is quick and effective.
Treatment depends on the details of the abnormal results. In some cases, a prescription for antibiotics may be sufficient. If the doctor suspects cancer a biopsy may be ordered to collect a cell sample for more thorough testing. Alternatively, Dr. Patterson may perform a colposcopy, where a colposcope is used to look at the cervix using a strong magnifier. Using a cryotherapy treatment, the top layer of abnormal cells are frozen and removed. Dr. Patterson may also suggest a LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) using a thin wire loop charged with low-voltage electricity to remove the abnormal cells from the cervix. Dr. Patterson discusses results and suggested treatments in detail with his patients, answering any questions so that the patient can make the best possible decision for her health and well-being.
At Dr. Patterson's practice, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please note that we do not accept Ambetter Medicaid. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
"Dr. Patterson has been my Doctor for more than 25 years now. I have recommended many women to him through out the years and will continue to do so!"
"An extremely kind and compassionate expert in his field. Would not hesitate to recommend him to family and friends."
"I've been going to Dr. Patterson for almost 20 years now. He's very thorough and efficient and I appreciate how he always personally calls with results."
"Great doctor. Takes the time to explain everything and is very thorough. Happy to be his patient."
"I called him on a Friday night at 3am because my water broke and he called me back right away and met me at the hospital. I would highly recommend Dr Patterson"
" Dr. Patterson is a proactive, personal doctor! He was the only doctor to actively pursue solutions to my heavy menstrual cycles. I have never felt better in my life!
"Dr Patterson is a caring Dr and always gives personal service, it's very impressive when your Dr calls you himself with your test results !!"