The Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a procedure used to remove abnormal tissues found during a pap test. A pap test is a method to determine if there is presence of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells in the canal of the cervix. If there is an abnormality in your cervix that has been confirmed by both a cervical biopsy and colposcopy, a LEEP may be performed to remove the malignant tissue. It will be done by a trained physician at either your clinic or a hospital in an outpatient setting (please note that you will not have to spend the night). You will have to take off your clothes below the waist and will be allowed to cover yourself with a cloth. You will then be asked to place yourself in the gynecological exam position on the operating table (stirrups). The doctor will then use a tool (speculum) that will spread the vagina and allow him to examine your cervix. The abnormal tissues are then removed by a low-voltage electrified wire loop. Do not worry about pain as the procedure asks for you to be anesthetized beforehand.
The risks involved with a LEEP are possible infection, a narrowing of the cervix which may cause infertility and the woman may become at higher risk of having an early baby delivery. Note that all these risks are extremely rare, but you should voice any concerns you may have with your doctor.
LEEP is very effective at removing abnormal tissues lying in your cervix. Furthermore, the sample excised will be analyzed at a laboratory to determine if the cancer has spread deeper. The diagnostic is then much more accurate and proper treatment will be given.
You will still have to test with pap smears regularly as part of a follow-up. This can be discussed with your physician.
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