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HGSIL Pap Smear Results

High Grade Squamous Intraepitheliel Lesion


Updated May 20, 2014

High grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, or HGSIL for short, is a medical term given to a category of cervical dysplasia detected through a Pap smear.

An HGSIL result indicates that more defined changes in the size and shape of cells has been detected, indicating moderate to severe cervical dysplasia. HGSIL is not cervical cancer, yet when left untreated, it can lead to cervical cancer.

Management of HGSIL Pap Result

If HGSIL is found through a Pap smear, a colposcopy is then done to confirm results. A colposcopy is an in-office procedure that allows a doctor to examine the cervix more in-depth. It is done by using a colposcope, a lighted microscope that magnifies the cervix.

During the colposcopy, the doctor may also do a cervical biopsy, the removal of small pieces of cervical tissue. The tissue samples are then sent to a lab for further examination.

A colposcopy is performed in the doctor's office and normally takes less than an hour to perform. Results are available within two weeks, depending on the the lab the doctor uses.

Treatment of HGSIL

If cervical biopsy results confirm HGSIL, treatment to remove abnormal tissue is necessary. Possible treatment for HGSIL includes:
  • Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP): During a LEEP procedure, an electric current is sent through a wire loop. The wire loops acts as knife, removing abnormal cervical cells.
  • Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy is a technique used to destroy abnormal tissue by freezing it. It is also called crysosurgery.
  • Conization: Also called a cone biopsy, conization removes a larger, cone-shaped sample of abnormal tissue.
  • Laser Therapy: During laser therapy, a tiny beam of light is used to destroy abnormal cells.

Follow Up Care After Treatment

Following up after treatment for cervical dysplasia is necessary! After treatment, cells can become again abnormal, requiring further treatment. Follow up consists of regular Pap smears and colposcopies for an extended period of time.


"National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet." The Pap Test: Questions and Answers. 12 FEB 2003. National Cancer Institute. 22 Oct 2006 <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/Pap-test>.

"Cervical Cancer (PDQ®): Treatment." General Information About Cervical Cancer. 19 APR 2006. National Cancer Institute. 22 Oct 2006 <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/cervical/patient>.

"National Cancer Insitute Fact Sheet." Lasers in Cancer Treatment: Questions and Answers. 10 AUG 2004. National Cancer Institute. 22 Oct 2006 <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/lasers>.

"Tutorials." Colposcopy. 10 July 2004. National Library if Medicine. 22 Oct 2006 <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/colposcopy/htm/lesson.htm>.

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