Waiting on results ..

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Soo .. where do i start. I was ten years overdue my smear test. I received a letter afterwards to say that they had found abnormalities and hpv was found. I then had to go for a biopsy. I then received another letter to say i had to attend another appointment. The consultant told me i had to get a LEEP procedure done because there was high grade precancerous cells that had to be treated. Afterwards i thought i didn’t need to be seen again until six months when i would need to have another smear done. A few months passed and i received another letter to say these high grade precancerous cells were present in the deeper margin and these are CIN3. I attended another hospital appointment and again had another LEEP procedure. My consultant told me that basically if this LEEP procedure doesn’t work then my next option is a hysterectomy. Iam now awaiting results from my second LEEP. My head is racing every day no matter how much i try to put it to the back of my head. Has anyone else had this experience? What’s the odds of me going back to be told that infact cancer is actually present? I have tried contacting my GP for advice but unfortunately they have no availability to see or speak to me. Iam 31 years of age with two girls who are 11 and 9. I work full time as a senior care assistant in a care home. What’s the recovery time from a hysterectomy? 

  • Hi  and welcome to our group.

    Sorry, I can’t share a similar experience but hello anyway! 

    It sounds from what you are saying that the first procedure didn’t remove all the abnormal cells, is that right? They are looking for clear margins after a LEEP-i.e the abnormal cells removed completely with an area of clear tissue around them, but it seems they didn’t get that first time round hence needing a second procedure? CIN3 is high grade precancerous cells, so they will want to ensure they have been completely taken away and hopefully this second procedure will have succeeded in doing that. 


    No-one would be able to guess at the odds of cancer being found when the LEEP tissues are analysed:it’s always a possibility, but hopefully will not be the case for you. It is sometimes the case that a hysterectomy is performed when LEEPs have not been successful, and this would remove the abnormal cells, but would not remove the hpv virus which has caused them. The virus would still be present in someone’s system as there is no cure for it, and it is possible for abnormal cells to return again, even after a hysterectomy, if your immune system has not managed to keep the virus dormant. So smears are still required even after a hysterectomy, and even if you no longer have a cervix. 


    Recovery time from a hysterectomy would depend on which type of hysterectomy is performed-there are several different types of surgery, and some have an easier recovery time than others. However, it’s probably too soon to be thinking about surgery just yet as it may well be that you won’t need it.

    Fingers crossed your results come back with a successful outcome for you!

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi sarah. Thanks for your reply. 

    Yes that’s it, there were still the abnormalities there hence the second LEEP. Iam aware that hpv should clear on its own and i would require another smear test to check if hpv is still present , is that correct? 

    It’s the waiting on the results of this second LEEP that worry’s me. I just wondered if there was a possibility that with these results from the deeper margin they have that i could be potentially told that it is cancer. Wouldn’t they have been able to tell me that from the first biopsy or the 1st LEEP or wouldn’t they have been able to tell because it is deeper in?  I have no idea and i have tried contacting my GP for advise but haven’t been successful as they have no appointments. Not to even speak to me over the phone. Understandably they are busy so iam not downing them. 

    And so if i do have a hysterectomy, will i still have to have smears done? Can abnormalities still be found after having a hysterectomy? 

  • Hi  

    Yes, you’re right in what you say. Most people will clear hpv within a couple of years, but for some it does persist. You would typically have another smear test in 6 months to check if it is still active. If it is dormant, ie if your immune system has managed to suppress it, you will test negative. Sometimes having the LEEP procedure can kick start your system into making the hpv dormant, but it’s like chickenpox virus in that it will still be in your system and can reactivate again in the future even after a negative test. 

    When a LEEP is done, the tissue is sent away to be analysed, and it would seem that only precancerous cells have been identified from your first one. It is possible for cancer to be found when the second LEEP is analysed as a deeper margin has been taken, but it’s just a possibility and so far no evidence of cancer has been seen/found. 

    Yes, smears are still required after a hysterectomy and they are called vault smears. So this is a check on the areas where abnormalities could occur again-typically on what’s called the vaginal cuff where you are sewn up inside. HPV is a sneaky virus-it can reactivate and cause issues again, but the whole point of the screening process is to identify any abnormalities quickly before they have a chance to turn to cancer. 

    Try not to think too far ahead about the“what ifs” right now as you don’t yet know if the second procedure has been successful. 

    Sarah xx


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  • Thank you for your reply sarah .. 

    Just getting some of these questions of my chest has eased my anxiety. I do try not to think of it all but three weeks into a 9-12 week wait for results and it’s all i can think of at the moment. Your awnsers have helped me today. Thank you! 

  • It’s horrible waiting for results-always a very anxious time for us all. It does seem the case that results are taking an exceptionally long time at the moment, but hang in there!

    Sarah xx


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