LEEP – Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure

LEEP stands for Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. We use this procedure to treat and/or diagnose abnormal Pap Smears tests.

LEEPs should not be performed during the heavy part of your period. There are no special preparations for this procedure.

During this procedure, a fine wire loop which is attached to a high-frequency electrical generator is inserted into the cervix. The loop removes the area in question. LEEPs allow for a very precise removal of tissue and rapid healing .

During the procedure, your cervix will be injected with a local anesthetic, which may cause some cramping. Some patients experience an increased heart rate and shakiness when the anesthetic is applied. This is a common reaction. A solution is then applied to the cervix to show the abnormal area that needs to be removed. At this point, you will hear a sound like a vacuum cleaner – this is a smoke evacuator. In addition, the machine also makes a humming noise. You may feel a dull cramp during the procedure, but if you feel anything sharp, please let the physician know immediately. The procedure usually takes about ten to fifteen minutes from the time you lie down until the procedure it is over.

After the procedure:

  • You will need to have arrangements for someone to drive you home. You should not return to work the day of the procedure.
  • Immediately after the procedure there will be a discharge that is dark brown to black. The amount varies so it is advisable to wear a sanitary pad (NOT a tampon). In some instances there will be a bloody discharge, particularly between day six and day fourteen.
  • Odor is sometimes experienced but is not a cause for concern.
  • Pain is uncommonly experienced. However, in some cases, there may be some cramping in the lower abdomen the day following the procedure.
  • For 3 – 6 weeks there should be no intercourse and no use of tampons.
  • Normal work or school activity may be resumed the same day.
  • Heavy exercise should be avoided for three days, and hot tubs and hot whirlpools should be avoided for one month.

Please call our office if:

  • Bleeding becomes more than that usually experienced during a period.
  • There is severe cramps or pain not relieved by acetaminophen (Tylenol).