What to Expect During a LEEP Procedure

Only two decades ago, cervical cancer was one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among women. Thanks to the simple Pap test, the death rate has dropped considerably; there are a little more than 13,000 diagnoses in the United States each year. While the Pap test offers the first line of defense in detecting precancerous and cancerous cells, the treatments that we use to eliminate these cells are also highly effective — namely the LEEP, which stands for loop electrosurgical excision procedure.

At Tubal Ligation Reversal Center, our team of experienced providers has extensive experience helping women with a host of reproductive issues using the latest equipment and surgical techniques. If abnormal, precancerous, or cancerous cells have been found on your cervix, we’re able to quickly clear them away with the LEEP.

Here’s what you should expect when you undergo a LEEP.

Getting started

When you first come in for a LEEP, we get you situated on a gynecological table with stirrups, which is the same table we use for most gynecological exams. After giving you a topical or local anesthetic for your comfort, we insert a speculum into your vagina to allow easier access to your cervix.

After thoroughly cleaning the area, we use a tenaculum to hold your cervix in place and then we insert an electrified wire loop to cut away a thin layer of your cervix. 

In and out

As we mentioned, the LEEP is quick and we perform it right here in our office. In fact, the procedure itself typically takes just 10 minutes, depending upon whether we’re just excising a layer of tissue for further study or we’re removing known cancerous cells, which may take more than one pass. Once we remove the tissue, we may apply a special ointment called Monsel’s Solution to stem any bleeding, but the wire loop also does a great job cauterizing your blood vessels. 

After your LEEP

Once we’re sure that we’ve removed the necessary tissue and that you’re not at risk for heavy bleeding, you’re free to return home. We do supply you with a sanitary napkin to catch any discharge, which is perfectly normal after the procedure and typically comes from the medication we apply to your cervix. You may also experience a watery discharge after your LEEP, which is also normal.

You should plan on taking it easy for a day or two after your LEEP, and you need to avoid using tampons or having sexual intercourse for several weeks.

During this time, we receive the results from the lab on your cervical tissue, which we share with you.

If you have more questions about what to expect during a LEEP, please contact one of our three offices in Atlanta, Loganville, or Monroe, Georgia.

Thanks to early testing and procedures like LEEP, women are far better armed in the fight against cervical cancer. Here’s what you can expect during this quick, in-office procedure.
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