Abrams Center for Women


What is LEEP?

LEEP, or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure, is a treatment in which electrosurgical wire loop is used to remove an abnormal piece of tissue on the cervix. The LEEP procedure is one of several techniques used to treat abnormal Pap smears due to early changes in the cell structure, commonly called dysplasia. The procedure is done in our office under local anesthesia and takes approximately 30 minutes to perform. Prior to the LEEP procedure a colposcopy will also be performed to clearly identify the areas of abnormal cells.

When is LEEP Performed?

If dysplasia (also called CIN) is found after a colposcopic viewing and biopsy of the cervix, the LEEP treatment may be performed on an outpatient basis.

How is LEEP Performed?

LEEP is done with the patient in the same position used for taking a Pap smear and it takes about 10 minutes. The LEEP procedure is done using electrodiathermy current to excise the area of abnormal tissue on the cervix. This excision can be of varying amounts in sizes and tailored to each individual patient depending on the appearance of the cervix and extent of dysplasia. The procedure produces a button shaped specimen of tissue which is removed from the cervix and sent to the pathologist to be examined. The excision is always done so that it extends slightly beyond the abnormal tissue to ensure that the surroundings tissue is normal. Due to electrical current which is used and also the use of a coagulating medicine, the bleeding that occurs with this procedure is minimal.

Is LEEP Painful?

All patients are given a small amount of numbing medication (local anesthetic) injected into the cervix. Some patients experience mild discomfort or cramping but most don't feel anything. During the LEEP some mild "menstrual like" cramps may occur. This cramping may continue for a few hours following the procedure. You may take Tylenol or Advil for the discomfort. The procedure does involve the use of several pieces of equipment in the room. However this should not be alarming; these machines are necessary for the procedure.

What Can I Expect After LEEP?

After treatment you may experience mild cramping for up to 24 hours. You will probably have a vaginal discharge for several weeks. This discharge may be heavy for a few days or may be mixed with a little blood. There may be some odor to this discharge. If this happens, wash the labia (lips) off with plain water several times a day for a few days.

What are the Risks of LEEP?

Most women do not experience serious side effects from the LEEP procedure. However very rarely, serious complications can occur. These include damage to other pelvic organs or the vaginal walls, pelvic inflammation (particularly if you have sex before the cervix heals), or excessive bleeding (about 1 in 100 women has bleeding that may require a return visit to the office).

The risks that this treatment will fail to cure the problem is about 10%. If the condition is left untreated, it may progress to cancer. For this reason it is essential that you keep your appointment for follow up care.

Some Things to Remember After You Have Had LEEP

To speed healing and prevent infection, please follow these instructions.

•  Use the Amino Cerv cream as prescribed

•  Sanitary pads, rather than tampons, are recommended

•  Do not have intercourse for 4 weeks unless the doctor recommends otherwise

•  Do not douche for at least 4 weeks

•  Keep your follow up visit 4 weeks after procedure

Staying Healthy

Help protect your health by doing the following things.

•  Get regular exams and Pap tests to catch any cervical problems before they become serious

•  Stop smoking to avoid the damaging effects of nicotine

•  Practice safe sex and limit your number of sex partners to reduce your risks of sexually transmitted disease and cervical problems

•  Eat a healthy, vitamin-rich diet to boost your body's immune system


Abrams Center for Women • 3131 S. Tamiami Trail • Suite 202 • Sarasota, FL 34239 • 941-953-5340