What Women Should Know About The LEEP Procedure

Each year, the month of September is set aside to bring awareness of the five types of Gynecological Cancer that affect a woman’s reproductive organs – cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat.

What is LEEP. Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is one of several procedures to help diagnose and treat abnormal or pre-cancerous cells in the cervix or vagina. LEEP is done after abnormal Pap test results have been confirmed by a Pap smear, colposcopy (an examination of your vulva, cervix, and vagina) or biopsy (a sample of tissue collected and sent to a laboratory for testing).

How LEEP is Performed:  The procedure is minimally invasive and is typically performed in the doctors’ office so you will be able to go home shortly after the procedure is performed. The doctor will use a very thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to cut away abnormal cervical tissue that can be seen during a colposcopy procedure. LEEP is able to remove abnormal tissue high in the cervical canal that cannot be seen during colposcopy. A vinegar (acetic acid) or iodine solution may be applied to the cervix which makes abnormal cells more visible.

What To Expect. You may be given a pain medication and possibly a local anesthetic to numb the cervical area prior to the procedure beginning. You may feel some slight pinching, pressure and mild cramping.  Once the abnormal cells have been removed, a solution may be applied to prevent bleeding.

Before the Procedure: You will want to schedule the procedure on a day that you will not have your period and are not active. Also discuss with your doctor any medications you are currently taking to determine if you need to temporarily discontinue use.  This would also be a good time to discuss any concerns you may have.

After the Procedure: Most women are able to return to normal activities within 1 to 3 days after LEEP is performed. Recovery time depends on how much was done during the procedure itself. You should receive a list that includes instructions for pain management, activity and hygiene precautions and what symptoms warrant a call to the doctor.  You may experience mild cramping for several hours after the procedure and vaginal discharge or spotting may occur for about 3 weeks.

Follow Up. Your doctor will schedule a follow up visit to make sure the cervix has healed. You will then return for follow up Pap smears and further procedures if warranted to ensure that all of the abnormal cervical tissues have been removed and no new abnormal cells have developed.

The Women’s Center provides several procedures in our office, including LEEP, thus avoiding the need for hospitalization. This saves you time, costs, and the need for general anesthetic. You receive your procedure in the comfort of our office that is already familiar, trusted and convenient to you. In office procedures have no wait time, no incision, no downtime, and minimal discomfort!

With six locations throughout Orange, Lake, Seminole, and Osceola Counties, we are the health center of choice for Central Florida’s women. We look forward to treating you and the women in your family for a future full of health, beauty, and happiness. Call us at 407-857-2502 today for a consultation with a friendly OBGYN provider at The Women’s Center.

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