Ask the Doctor
August 21, 2012
Should pap-smears be done regularly after a hysterectomy?

Dear Doc,

I had a hysterectomy three years ago. I guess that I have no reason to think of pap-smears, or should I?{{more}}


Dear Norma,

This is a very good question. A colleague told me of a case where a gynaecologist was sued by a former patient, because she was diagnosed with cervical cancer ten years after having had a hysterectomy.

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is done to remove the uterus. Some can decide to remove the cervix also. Many decide to leave the cervix, because it gives pleasurable sensation during intercourse.

A woman who has had a hysterectomy MUST be told if the cervix has been removed or if it was left. If the cervix is left, then regular annual pap-smears should continue. It is also advised that a women whose cervix was removed must have smears of the vaginal vault done at regular intervals, especially in the region where the cervix was attached.

If you don’t know whether the cervix was removed or not, you should get in contact with the gynaecologist who did the surgery or simply have your doctor examine you to find out. Get a vault-smear or cervical smear at the same time.


SVG Cancer Society,

P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.

Email:[email protected]