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Annual Exam - What to Expect

What you can Expect ...

Every Annual exam visit will include a weight, blood pressure & temperature check.  If you have any signs or symptoms of Urinary Tract problems, (ie: problems going to the bathroom, going frequently, burning when you go, etc) we will check your urine at you're appointment.  

Your visit will include a pap test (often referred to as pap smear), pelvic exam and clinical breast exam.  These tests are important parts of your health care routine, as these tests can detect cancer or abnormalities that may lead to cancer. 

Pap testing is recommended for women beginning 3 years after sexual intercourse or at the age of 21.  Pap testing is a way to examine cells collected from the cervix (the lower, end of the uterus).  It can also be used to find non-cancerous conditions, such as an infection.   A pap test is done in the office at the time of your appointment.  A speculum is inserted into the vagina to widen it.  A small cervical brush is then used to obtain a sample of cells.   The specimen is then placed into a vial and sent to a laboratory for examination.

Women ages 65 to 70 who have had at least three normal pap tests and no abnormal pap tests in 10 years may decide, after discussing with their provider, to stop having pap tests.  

Pap testing should be scheduled when you are not menstruating.  If your period starts on the day of your appointment, please call the office and reschedule.  Additionally, it is best for the 2 days before your exam to not use vaginal medications, spermicidaial foams, creams or jellies.  These may alter the results of your pap testing.

Once your pap test has been completed, you can expect to have a follow up letter or phone call from our office with your normal test results within 2 weeks.  If your testing finds abnormal cells or other reasons for concern, you will be contacted by our office for a follow up appointment.

Pelvic exam is also a part of your regular "Annual Exam" and is a process where the doctor examines the uterus, vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes and bladder are felt to detect any abnormalities in their shape or size.  A speculum is used to widen the vagina so that the upper portion of the vagina and the cervix can be seen.  Please know that the pap test & pelvic exam are done at the same time so that the speculum is inserted once.

Clinical breast exam is a physical examination of your breast by a health care provider. During the examination, your health care provider will look for signs of breast disease in each breast. She will palpate (feel) each breast to locate lumps or changes in the texture of breast tissue, will look for nipple discharge, and will palpate the lymph nodes under the arms.

Annual Exam visits are also specific to your healthcare needs.  Depending on your current age, other healthcare issues/problems orders for lab work, ultrasounds and/or mammograms may be ordered by your physician. 

Lab Work a single test or several blood tests may be ordered in order for the physician to better determine what your specific needs may be and/or to confirm a diagnosis in your care.

Ultrasound is a non-invasive way to study many of the organs of the body. Ultrasound is high frequency sound waves, which penetrate the body and bounce off the internal structures, giving an electronically produced picture on a screen.