LEEP stands for Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. It is a procedure used to remove abnormal cells from your cervix. This is often recommended when you have cervical dysplasia.
After your cervix is made numb, a thin wire loop with electric current passing through it is used to remove abnormal cells. The loop excision part of the procedure is very quick, in most cases a few seconds. Then the cervix is cauterized to take care of any bleeding. The entire procedure takes only a few minutes to complete.
You may have some cramping, but not severe. Ibuprofen is good for this. You may have light to moderate bleeding (like a period) for a few days, maybe up to two weeks. You will have discharge that may initially be brown. As long as it is not foul smelling or accompanied by abdominal pain this is normal. You should refrain from heavy exertion for 2 weeks. No sex or tampon use for 3 weeks.
All tissue removed from the cervix will be sent to pathology for microscopic examination. They will tell us if the surgical margins contain any abnormal cells. If the margins are negative, it is very unlikely that any abnormal cells remain on the cervix. Follow-up Pap tests will detect any abnormal cells after healing. There is a 5-10% recurrence rate for dysplasia.
You will receive a repeat pap smear no sooner than 3 months after the LEEP procedure. You may need to repeat the pap several times until results are normal twice. Ask your physician about follow-up.
Should you have further questions, refer to ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) handouts available in our office.
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Read more about IUDs on the ACOG website>
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