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Important Note

Test is subject to Medicare frequency limitations, see PAP Smear Guidlines for Medicare Patients.

Outside clients submit a manual order.

Additional Codes

Primary ID

Epic Code

Mayo Access ID




Specimen Information

Preparing for a Pap Test:  Information for Your Patient's

To ensure that the Pap Test is most effective, patients should follow the following guidelines:

  • Try not to schedule a Pap Test during your patient’s menstrual period. Although the test can be done, it’s best to avoid this time, if possible.

During the two days prior to the Pap test have patients AVOID:

  • Intercourse
  • Douching
  • Any vaginal medicines, creams or lubricants
  • Any birth control foams, creams or jellies
  • The use of tampons

Following these guidelines will decrease the presence of interfering factors in the Pap Test.


Prepare the Speculum
For patients without physical or physiological need for lubricant, use lukewarm water to warm and lubricate the speculum. Water lubrication has the fewest risks to the quality of the Pap sample collected. When necessary, sparingly apply carbomer-free lubricant on the exterior of the speculum blades. If lubricant is necessary due to patient discomfort or the use of a plastic speculum, sparingly apply a thin film of carbomer-free lubricant on the speculum’s surface, avoiding the tip.


Do not use an excessive amount of lubricant jelly to lubricate the speculum
Hologic evaluated a variety of popular lubricants and found those containing carbomer or carbopol polymers (thickening agents) may interfere with obtaining a representative cervical sample or cause artifact in the alcohol-based transport medium. Hologic recognizes the varying availability of different types of lubricants and recommends that, if used, any lubricant should be applied sparingly. Many over-the-counter products that advertise their effects as lasting several day mays contain ingredients that interfere with the ThinPrep Pap Test processing.

Acceptable Lubricants

Lubricant Manufacturer

PAP Test Lubricating Jelly

Aseptic Control Products

Surgilube Surgical Lubricant

HR Pharmaceuticals

Remove excess mucus or other discharge present before taking the sample.
This should be gently removed with ring forceps holding a folded gauze pad. The excess cervical mucus is essentially devoid of meaningful cellular material and when present in the sample vial may yield a slide with little or no diagnostic material present. Remove inflammatory exudate from the cervical canal before taking the sample. Remove by placing a dry 2-by-2-inch piece of gauze over the cervix and peeling it away after it absorbs the exudate or by using a dry
procto swab or Scopette swab. The excess inflammatory exudate is essentially devoid of diagnostic cellular material and, when present in the sample vial, may yield a slide with little or no diagnostic material present.


Collection of the Pap Test

Submit a ThinPrep Vial at ambient temperature. Endo and Exocervical samples desired. Rinse collection device in the ThinPrep Vial (Preservcyt). Remove the broom/spatula device from the ThinPrep vial and Close the vial tightly. Include all clinical patient information. For Medicare patients, please designate whether low-or high-risk screening or diagnostic.

The sample should be stored at 15 C – 30 C  (59 F – 86 F). Storage Limit when containing a Cytology Sample: 6 weeks


Test Schedule / Analytical Time / Test Priority

Monday – Friday / 7 days / Not available STAT


Modified Papanicoloau


Description CPT Code
Pap Test, ThinPrep, Image-Assisted 88175


Reference Range

Negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy.



Performing Location

University of Vermont Medical Center

Is the UVMMC lab NY State Certified to perform this testing?  Yes/No


LOINC Code Information