Leep: Loop electrode excision procedure

The Leep procedure is used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix; it takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. It is a procedure performed in women who are found to have abnormal cells on the pap smear or on colposcopy. This procedure uses a small loop electrode attached to an electrical generator. This generator conducts electricity through the loop and makes the loop work like a scalpel that excises the abnormal tissue.

For this procedure, you will be asked to come to the office. First the doctor will do a pregnancy test and a pelvic exam (with a speculum) and sometimes a colposcopy (using a large microscope to find the abnormal cells on the cervix). Then the cervix is cleaned. A small grounding pad is placed on your leg. Anesthetic is carried out using IV sedation. Once the abnormal cells are found, the electrical loop is activated and used to remove these cells. The tissue that is removed is sent to pathology to confirm the level of abnormality associated with the abnormal cells.

When the procedure is complete, the doctor will ask you to make a subsequent appointment to evaluate the surgical site and make sure it is healing well. This visit will be scheduled approximately 2-4 weeks after your initial procedure. After the Leep, you should not have intercourse or place anything in the vagina until you are examined to ensure that you are healed.

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