What is LEEP?
A loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) removes tissue from the cervix. 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 special fluid is sometimes put on your cervix to make certain areas easier to see.
You may get a shot of medicine to numb the cervix. You may feel a cramp when you have the shot. You may also get pain medicine.
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 doctor's office, a clinic, or a hospital. It takes only a few minutes. You can go home after the procedure.
You should be able to go back to your normal routine in 1 to 3 days. How long it takes you to recover will depend on how much was done.
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
- Do not douche, use tampons, have sexual intercourse, or use vaginal medicines for 24 hours before the test.
- Tell your doctor if:
- You are having your menstrual period.
- You are or might be pregnant. A blood or urine test may be done to see if you are pregnant.
- Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
- 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
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