LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure)

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Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a wire loop heated by electric current to remove cells and tissue from a woman’s cervix. The tissue will be sent to the lab for testing. LEEP may be performed after abnormal cells are found during a Pap smear, colposcopy, or cervical biopsy. It is used as part of the diagnosis and treatment for pre-cancerous changes of the cervix.

What can a patient expect after the procedure?

Upon completion of a LEEP procedure, a patient may experience mild cramping for a few hours. During the first week, a dark brown vaginal discharge may be detected, along with discharge or spotting for approximately three weeks. Tampons, douching, and intercourse should be avoided for approximately three weeks.

What are the risks of a LEEP procedure?

Women generally do not experience any problems after having a LEEP performed. In rare cases, a narrowing or shortening of the cervix may occur, which may sometimes cause difficulty in achieving pregnancy, or cause complications in carrying a pregnancy to term.

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