Reproductive Health Issues

Everything You Should Know About the LEEP Procedure

September 30, 2018

If your doctor says you have to get a LEEP procedure, it is because your yearly Pap smear indicates the presence of abnormal cervical cells or cervical dysplasia.

The loop electrosurgical excision procedure, or LEEP, is just one of several procedures available to help diagnose and treat abnormal cervical cells. Your doctor may also purchase a colposcopy, which is an evaluation of your vulva, cervix, and vagina, either before or through the LEEP procedure.

Does a LEEP Use an Electrical Present?

Yes, even a LEEP uses a thin wire loop electrode attached to an electrosurgical generator. The generator transmits a painless electric current that cuts away the affected cervical tissue in the immediate area of the loop cable. This leads to the abnormal cells to quickly burst and heat and separates the tissue as the loop cable moves through the cervix.

How to Prepare for a LEEP Procedure

You may want to ask your doctor if it’s OK to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen before your process to help alleviate any pain. Never take medication or supplements before any medical procedure without specifically asking your physician about it. Always follow your doctor’s instructions.

What Happens During the LEEP Procedure

The LEEP procedure takes about 20-30 minutes and is usually performed in your doctor’s office. In some ways, it may seem much like a regular pelvic examination because you’ll lie on the examination table with your feet in the stirrups.

Generally, you can expect the next steps to happen in the specified sequence. Your Doctor will:

  1. Utilize colposcopy as a visual guide to the strange location.
  2. Put an electrosurgical dispersive pad on your thigh, which provides a safe return path for the electrosurgical current.
  3. Attach a single-use, disposable loop electrode to the generator handpiece.
  1. Prepare your cervix with acetic acid and potassium solutions that enable her to more easily see the extent of the abnormal location.
  2. Inject a local anesthetic to the cervix.
  3. Generate the electroloop and pass it through the face of the cervix.
  4. Eliminate the lesion.
  5. Stop any bleeding with a ball electrode, and maybe a topical solution.

It is possible to leave your physician’s office soon after the procedure.

Infection Associated With the LEEP Procedure

Complications are often mild but can contain mild pain or distress, and bleeding.

You should call your doctor if you experience bleeding that is heavier than a normal period, or if pain is more intense. Other symptoms you should report to your doctor include any heavy vaginal discharge or powerful vaginal odor.

Things to Avoid After a LEEP Procedure

After the LEEP procedure, make certain to follow your physician’s instructions precisely. She’s likely to recommend you don’t do certain things for a prescribed Time Period, for example:

  • Have sexual sex
  • lift heavy objects
  • use tampons
  • douche
  • take tub baths

Your doctor will also tell you when to go back for follow-up Pap smears, and/or colposcopies. Follow-up appointments are essential to verify that all the abnormal cervical cells are removed, and to make sure if abnormal cervical cells redevelop they are found early and treated appropriately.