What is LEEP?
A loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a procedure used to treat or diagnose abnormal cells on the cervix. It takes only a few minutes and usually happens in a clinic or hospital. You may have this done if you've had a Pap test that shows tissue that isn't normal.
During LEEP, your doctor will put a tool called a speculum into your vagina. It gently spreads apart the sides of your vagina. This lets your doctor see the cervix and inside the vagina. A vinegar and iodine solution is put on your cervix to make certain areas easier to see.
You will get freezing medicine to numb the cervix. You may feel a cramp, feel shaky, have a funny taste in your mouth, or have a faster heartbeat for a few minutes.
Your doctor will put a device with a fine wire loop into your vagina. The doctor uses the heated wire to cut out tissue.
You may have mild cramps for several hours after LEEP. A dark brown discharge during the first week is normal. You may have some spotting for about 3 weeks.
LEEP is done in a clinic, or a hospital. It takes only a few minutes.
You should be able to go back to your normal routine the following day.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How do you prepare for the procedure?
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Preparing for the procedure
- Tell your doctor if you are or might be pregnant. A blood or urine test may be done to see if you are pregnant, because if you are, your procedure may need to be rescheduled.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter L547 in the search box to learn more about "Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP): Before Your Procedure".