LEEP Procedure

What is a LEEP procedure?

A LEEP procedure removes abnormal cells (dysplasia) from the surface of the cervix.

A thin wire loop is swept across the surface.  Electric current allow the wire to remove tissue wile also preventing bleeding.

Local anesthesia is given to numb the cervix so you will not experience pain.

Before the Procedure:

A LEEP should be done when you are not having your menstrual period to give a better view of the cervix.

During the Procedure:

You will lie on your back with your knees bent.  The doctor will insert a speculum and identify the area with abnormal cells.

She will inject local anesthesia to prevent pain.  With this, you may feel a slight sting, then a dull ache or cramp.  This medicine usually makes your heart race.  This is normal, and will go away in a few minutes.

After removing a thin layer of tissue, a cautery may be used to stop bleeding.  A special paste will be applied to the cervix to control bleeding and promote healing.  This may cause a thick, brownish-black discharge for several days after the procedure.

After the Procedure:

Most women are able to leave the office immediately after the procedure and resume normal activities that day.

You will be asked not to place anything in the vagina for 4 weeks.  ( No tampons, douching, or sex)  This is to allow healing and prevent bleeding.

It is normal to have some mild cramping, light bleeding, and brownish-black discharge.

If you experience heavy bleeding, you should call our office.

What are the Risks of LEEP?

The most common risk is bleeding in the first few weeks after the procedure.  If you experience heavy bleeding ( and it is not time for your menstrual period), your should call our office.

There is a small risk of future pregnancy problems.  Although most women have no problems, there is a small increase in the risk of preterm birth and having a low birth weight baby.  In rare cases, the cervix becomes narrowed after the procedure, which can cause problems with menstruation or difficulty becoming pregnant.

Will I need Followup After the Procedure?

A followup visit is usually scheduled 4 weeks after the procedure.  An exam will be done to evaluate healing of the cervix.  At this visit, your doctor will also review the pathology results and tell you when your next cervical screening should be.

Abnormal cells can return, so it is important to have regular pelvic exams and cervical cancer screening.

If you Smoke, you will be more likely to have cervical dysplasia return, so it is best to quit smoking to decrease your chance of abnormal cells returning.  Please ask us if you would like help with this.

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