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LEEP stands for loop electrosurgical excision procedure. It is used to treat dysplasia (abnormal cell growth). A fine wire loop is used to remove a small amount of tissue from your cervix. This can be done in the doctor’s office. You can go back to your routine the same day. Schedule your LEEP for a time when you are not menstruating.

During the Procedure

You’ll place your feet in stirrups. Your doctor then inserts a speculum into your vagina. The speculum holds the walls of the vagina open to let the doctor see the cervix:

  • Your cervix is numbed with a local anesthetic.

  • A mild vinegar or iodine solution is applied to your cervix. This helps to highlight any dysplasia.

  • Your doctor may look through a colposcope. This helps him or her to get a close-up view of your cervix.

  • The loop is inserted through your vagina and moved toward the cervix.

  • The loop is used to remove a small piece of cervical tissue.

  • A medicated solution may be applied to the cervix. This helps reduce bleeding.

View of colposcope in vagina

View of colposcope in vagina

View of colposcope in vagina

After the Procedure

You will be able to lie on the table until you are ready to stand up. You can then go back to your normal routine. The solution may cause a dark vaginal discharge for a few days after the procedure. Your cervix should heal completely within a few weeks.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Heavy bleeding or bleeding with clots

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Fever

  • Foul-smelling discharge


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