Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)

A LEEP procedure is done for the purpose of removing abnormal tissue from your cervix. A fine wire loop with a special high-frequency current allows the doctor to precisely remove the abnormal tissue from your cervix. Because the wire is so thin, there is very little damage to surrounding tissue. A portion of the cervix is removed in the shape of an upside-down cone, and the tissue is sent to pathology. The main objective is to have the margins clear (this means no dysplasia is found on border of the specimen).

Where is the procedure done?

The procedure is done in the outpatient surgical setting. The procedure will take 10-30 minutes. You will then be in the recovery room for 1-2 hours.

What do I need to do prior to the procedure?

Most LEEP procedures are done under general anesthesia. Because of this, you cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure.

What do I need to do after the procedure?

You will be given a prescription for a medicine to be used in the vagina. It is used to help prevent infection, and should be used until it is gone. Although you can return to most of your normal activities soon after the LEEP, it is important to help your cervix heal by avoiding the following activities until your post-op visit:

  • tub baths, hot tubs, whirlpools
  • douches or tampons
  • sexual intercourse
  • no heavy lifting for 2-3 days

What can I expect after the procedure?

As your cervix heals, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • thick, brownish-black discharge for 2-6-weeks
  • mild cramping (you may take Tylenol or Advil as directed)
  • vaginal bleeding
  • heavier bleeding during your next period

When should I call the doctor?

Please notify our office if you develop a fever, severe pain, foul smelling drainage, or bleeding that saturates more than one sanitary pad in an hour.

Follow up for your future

LEEP is usually a successful treatment, but the doctor will request that you return for follow-up Pap smears or colposcopy. This will be necessary to ensure that the abnormal cells have been completely removed from your cervix and have not recurred. You will also need to make a follow up appointment for 2-3 weeks after the procedure.