Friday, June 14, 2013

PAP Guidelines

There has been a lot of media attention about the newest guidelines for Pap testing, which in turn brings up a lot of questions.  Pap tests (named after Dr. Papanicolaou) are part of routine well-women care, used to screen for pre-cancerous and cancerous cervical lesions.  Guidelines are published by medical organizations to be used by medical practitioners to help inform their clinical practice, using the most up-to-date evidence and research available.  However, guidelines are just that - they are a guide - and it is important for all women to to have a discussion with their practitioner, and create an individualized plan of care that is right for you.

The current guidelines for Pap Testing in women of average-risk:
- Initiate Pap Test at age 21 years, regardless of sexual history.
- Pap Test every 3 years from 21 through 29.
- Pap Test with HPV test (co-testing) every 5 years from 30 through 65, or Pap Test alone every 3 years.
 - Stop screening after age 65, or after total hysterectomy with cervical removal (for non-cancerous reason).

The following table shows the guidelines from different medical organizations, which are in agreement regarding screening for average-risk women.  It is important to discuss your Pap history with your provider, and determine your best screening schedule.

The annual well-women exam is often where Pap Testing is done; however, just because you don't need an annual every year does not mean you should skip your annual.  Having an annual exam is part of routine health maintenance and disease prevention - making sure you are up to date with other screening recommendations, a clinical breast exam, immunizations, lab work, discussing healthy behaviors, and of course answering any questions you have about your health.

With the new Affordable Care Act, as of 2010 preventative services, including an annual exam and recommended screenings, are all covered 100% by your insurance!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Welcome to the Champlain OB/GYN Blog

This blog will be maintained by the providers at Champlain OB/GYN - it will serve as another way  for us to communicate to patients, and for our patients to communicate with us.  We are excited to have another forum to get information out there to our patients on a regular basis; we will be posting at least weekly, so be sure to check back often! 
Our providers: Maria Carracino, Kara Flaherty, Jack Gallagher, Paula Miner, Sally Stockwell, Callan Janowiec

So often in health care, we are not able to cover many of the important topics we would like to during our short office visits.  The internet has made it possible for people to access health information at any time from their home - which can be a blessing and a curse.  There is so much information available - some of it is reputable, and some is not.  We will regularly post to this blog, bringing you the most up-to-date, reliable sources of health information.  The field of medicine is under constant evolution; new discoveries are made, research advances, studies are published, and technologies improve.  In this ever-growing field, it is our job as your health practitioners to interpret the information and make it available to you so you are equipped with accurate knowledge to best take care of yourself and be as healthy as you can be.

We will cover a wide range of topics including: women's health topics, pregnancy concerns and issues, screening recommendations, nutrition and exercise, and more!  If you have any specific questions that you would like us to post, please leave a comment and we will do our research and answer your question in a future post.  We welcome any questions, concerns, suggestions - this is a way for us to interact with our patients outside of the office visit, and we are hoping it can be a rich dialogue.  Of course confidentiality is important, so please do not post any identifiers, or if you have specific questions about your health you can feel free if contact us at the office for a more in-depth conversation.

Thank you!  For more information, please visit our website.