Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a simple but powerful procedure that can remove abnormal cells from your cervix after an abnormal Pap smear or colposcopy. It’s one of the best ways to prevent cervical cancer available today. At New England Women’s Healthcare in Woburn and Wilmington, Massachusetts, a highly skilled and supportive OB/GYN team offers comprehensive women’s health care, from Pap smears to LEEP and beyond, in one convenient location. Use online scheduling or call the office to book your appointment today.
LEEP is a procedure to remove abnormal cells from your cervix, usually in the form of a small amount of tissue. Your New England Women’s Healthcare OB/GYN may recommend LEEP if you have an abnormal Pap smear and colposcopy. With LEEP, your doctor excises the tissue containing the abnormal cells and then tests them for cancer in a pathology lab (a biopsy).
Your OB/GYN performs your LEEP in-office at New England Women’s Healthcare. You’ll lay in the same position as you do for a pelvic exam for a LEEP. Your doctor administers an anesthetic like lidocaine to numb your cervix before removing any tissue, so most women don’t experience any discomfort or pain during LEEP.
Your OB/GYN uses a slender loop tool, inserting it in your cervix to remove the abnormal cell growth. With the abnormal tissue gone, your OB/GYN stops the bleeding using cauterization and a special topical iron-based paste.
You’ll relax for a while after the procedure and then return home that day. Usually, the whole process including the anesthesia takes about half an hour.
If you have significant abnormal cell growth high in your cervix, your OB/GYN may also recommend conization, in which your doctor removes a cone-shaped tissue section that includes both abnormal and healthy tissue for an in-depth biopsy. Your OB/GYN can do conization immediately after LEEP if necessary.
After LEEP, you can expect some light bleeding or spotting for up to three weeks. You may also have darker vaginal discharge from the iron-based paste that stops your bleeding after the procedure, but this is normal and abates within a few days in most cases. You may have some mild cramps, which are typically easily managed with over-the-counter medications.
Use sanitary napkins for any bleeding or discharge in the month after LEEP. You should also refrain from tampon use, douching, and sex for a month after your LEEP. Although LEEP doesn't usually require downtime, you should still avoid strenuous activity for a few days afterward. A LEEP with conization may require some downtime, based on your OB/GYN’s recommendations. You’ll see your New England Women’s Healthcare doctor for a follow-up visit within the next month in most cases.
Call New England Women’s Healthcare or use the convenient online scheduler to make your appointment now.