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Pap Smear Specialist

Alan B. Patterson, M.D. -  - OB-GYN

Alan B. Patterson, M.D.

OB-GYN located in Coral Springs, FL

Alan B. Patterson, MD provides pap smears to his patients in the comfortable environment of his Coral Springs, Florida office. This routine exam is an essential part of preventive care for women as it’s the most effective means of screening for a variety of medical conditions.

Pap Smear Q & A

What is a pap smear?

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.

Why are pap smears important?

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.

How are abnormal pap smear results treated?

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.

What is the difference between a pelvic exam and a pap smear?

A pelvic exam is conducted to evaluate your reproductive organs and may be done during your regular checkup. Dr. Patterson may also suggest a pelvic exam if you experience pelvic pain or unusual vaginal discharge, among other symptoms.

A pelvic exam is usually very quick. Dr. Patterson checks your reproductive organs for any abnormalities. A Pap smear is performed to show signs of cervical cancer and it is often performed during a pelvic exam.

Dr. Patterson has the technique and experience to make sure that your pelvic exam and/or pap smear is as painless and comfortable as possible. A first-time pelvic exam can be very traumatic if performed incorrectly. Dr. Patterson ensures that through world-class care, every procedure is performed correctly and with the most gentle care.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Dr. Patterson's practice, we accept most major insurance plans. Dr. Patterson is a Cigna Tier 1 provider, so patient participation in employer-sponsored Cigna group plans with OAP or PPO coverage may result in lower copayments or coinsurance levels for covered services. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed. We do not take any Medicaid plans at all.

Blue Cross
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Molina Healthcare
United Healthcare