K. Anthony Shanbour, MD ObGyn Oklahoma City OK

LEEP Procedure - Abnormal Cervical Changes

What is (LEEP) and why is it done?

If you have an abnormal result, your health care provider may suggest that you have a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) as part of the evaluation or for treatment. LEEP is one way to remove abnormal cells from the cervix by using a thin wire loop that acts like a scalpel (surgical knife). An electric current is passed through the loop, which cuts away a thin layer of the cervix.

How is LEEP performed?

A LEEP should be done when you are not having your menstrual period to give a better view of the cervix. In most cases, LEEP is done in a health care provider’s office. The procedure only takes a few minutes.

During the procedure you will lie on your back and place your legs in stirrups. The health care provider then will insert a speculum into your vagina in the same way as for a pelvic exam. Local anesthesia will be used to prevent pain. It is given through a needle attached to a syringe. You may feel a slight sting, then a dull ache or cramp. The loop is inserted into the vagina to the cervix. There are different sizes and shapes of loops that can be used. You may feel faint during the procedure. If you feel faint, tell your health care provider immediately.

After the procedure, a special paste may be applied to your cervix to stop any bleeding. Electrocautery also may be used to control bleeding. The tissue that is removed will be studied in a lab to confirm the diagnosis.

LEEP Recovery

  • After the procedure, you may have:
  • Watery, pinkish discharge
  • Mild cramping
  • Brownish-black discharge (from the paste)

It will take a few weeks for your cervix to heal. While your cervix heals, you should not have intercourse or place anything in the vagina, such as tampons or douches. Your doctor will tell you when it is safe to do so.

You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following problems:

  • Heavy bleeding (more than your normal period)
  • Bleeding with clots
  • Severe abdominal pain

LEEP Procedure PDF

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