Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure

What is a LEEP and why is is recommended?

A LEEP is a procedure that uses a small loop wire to remove a thin piece of tissue from your cervix. This is recommended for certain women who have had abnormal cervical cancer or pap smear screening tests.

What to expect during and after the procedure?

A LEEP is usually done in the doctor’s office. During the procedure, a speculum is inserted and pain medication is placed around your cervix. A thin wire is used to remove a small piece of tissue. A paste is usually placed in the cervix to decrease any bleeding you may have. After the procedure, it is normal to have spotting or yellowish discharge as well as cramping. You should not place anything in the vagina like tampons or douches and avoid sexual intercourse until your doctor says it is safe to do so. You should call your doctor if you experience fever, heavy bleeding with clots or severe abdominal pain.

Are there risks to LEEP?

LEEP is recommended for severe changes in cervical cells. There may be long term pregnancy complications associated with LEEP. Most women have no problems but, rarely, some may experience early labor with low birth weight babies or cervical scarring which may cause menstrual problems or trouble getting pregnant.