LEEP is a procedure used to address abnormal cells on the cervix. LEEP, or loop electrosurgical excision procedure, removes irregular tissue by cutting it away using a thin wire loop which is hooked up to a mild electrical current. It can be performed once abnormal cells are discovered during a pap exam, colposcopy, or biopsy.
LEEP treats the issue roughly 90% of the time. If LEEP doesn’t cure the issue, the procedure can be repeated or the doctor can recommend another type of treatment.
During the procedure, the doctor typically looks through a colposcope to see the cervix more clearly, then:
Following the procedure, patients may feel so mild cramping for about a day. If patients are uncomfortable, they can use oral pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Patients will likely have a watery discharge for several weeks and it can be heavy and may be mixed with a small amount of blood. There also can be some odor to the discharge. In addition to normal hygiene, patients should wash their labia with clean water several times a day for the next few days. Patients should also remember to not douche or use tampons for several weeks following the procedure. The doctor can tell patients about how long to wait. The doctor can also help patients decide how long they should wait to engage in intercourse. Generally, women should wait three to four weeks before having vaginal intercourse. Continuing to take their medications as usual, including the birth control pill, is also important. Patients can also continue to use any other method of birth control.