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What is a LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure)?

 
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What is a LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure)?
A loop electrosurgical excision procedure, or LEEP, is a way to treat abnormal cell growth on the cervix. LEEP is a very safe and standard procedure with very few risks. A LEEP may be recommended to remove abnormal cells that were found after having a Pap test and colposcopy—a biopsy.
 
Abnormal cell growth on the cervix is called cervical dysplasia. Though cervical dysplasia is not cancer, over time it can worsen and lead to cancer if left untreated.
 
What to expect
During a LEEP, a wire loop heated by electric current is used to remove abnormal cervical cells and tissue, which are then further tested for abnormal or pre-cancerous conditions. The minor procedure only takes a few minutes and can be performed in the office with or without anesthesia. You may feel some discomfort during the procedure. Afterward, you can go home and resume most normal activity within a few days.
 
Based on the results, your provider will talk to you about follow up care or treatment.
 
How to prepare
There is generally no need to prepare for a LEEP procedure, but your provider will give you instructions if your specific situation requires special preparation. Ideally, the procedure is conducted when you are not menstruating.
 
What to expect after
After the procedure, it is normal to experience some bleeding and cramping. You should avoid intercourse, tampons and douching for four weeks.
 
If you experience any other complications after this procedure, such as abnormal or heavy bleeding, bleeding with clots or severe pain in the abdomen, call your provider. Otherwise, you should see your physician for regular follow-ups and cervical cancer screenings to make sure cancer hasn’t developed.
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