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What is LEEP/LLETZ?
LEEP is a procedure for removing a type of abnormal tissue growth in the cervix called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). It uses a thin wire loop attached to an electrical unit.
The cervix is the narrow, lower portion of the uterus. The uterus is the muscular organ at the top of the vagina. Babies develop in the uterus, and menstrual blood comes from the uterus, through the cervix.
LEEP is an abbreviation for loop electrosurgical excision procedure. It is also referred to as large look excision of the transformation zone, or LLETZ.
When is it used?
Abnormal tissue is most often discovered from a Pap test. The Pap test is a screening test done during a woman's pelvic exam. Several types of CIN can become cancer if not treated. Removal of the abnormal cells can help prevent cancer of the cervix.
What are the benefits of this procedure?
LEEP allows your healthcare provider to locate and remove precancerous cells. It can be done in y our provider's office and does not require a general anesthetic. If the tissue were removed surgically, you might need to put to sleep with a general anesthetic.
What are the risks of this procedure?
You may have heavy bleeding. Rarely the cervix may become infected. Infection may cause the opening in your cervix to become narrower. The narrowing might make it more difficult for you to get pregnant. Sometimes the healing of the area from which the tissue was removed may cause the cervical opening to become narrower. The narrowing might make it more difficult for you to get pregnant. The tissue of the cervix may be weakened. This is called an incompetent cervix and it could cause a premature birth of a baby if you become pregnant.
How do I prepare for LEEP?
You should avoid sex or douching for 48 hours before the procedure.
What happens after the procedure?
You can return to normal school or work activity the same day. You may have a little cramping after the procedure. You may also have some minor bleeding or spotting the first day or so after the procedure. For about 2 weeks you will have a brownish discharge. This is a normal part of the healing of your cervix. Your cervix should heal completely within a month.
You should avoid heavy lifting, tampons, douching, sexual intercourse, and hot tubes for 1 month after the procedure.
See your healthcare provider for follow-up visits and Pap tests as recommended.
When should I call Greenville OB/GYN?
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