You might have heard about LEEP. However, do you know what it means and how it might affect you? During LEEP or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure, your OB-GYN removes genital warts, polyps, and abnormal cells from your vagina or cervix. A doctor may suggest that you undergo a LEEP procedure if your Pap test reveals abnormalities that increase the risk for cancer. Knowing what to expect from a LEEP can help you further reduce your risk of developing cancer in the future.
How is LEEP performed?
Your OBGYN performs LEEP generally in-office. In addition, it only takes a couple of minutes to complete. Your doctor will administer local anesthesia to prevent pain. Using a thin wire loop, they will remove any abnormalities from your cervix or vagina. Furthermore, some women report experiencing mild discomfort during the procedure.
Side effects of LEEP
You may experience mild cramping for one to two days following LEEP. Your OB-GYN may prescribe medication as a pain preventative. Plus, you may notice a discharge that looks watery or may be tinged with blood. Stick to wearing pads to manage discharge. Your doctor will advise against inserting tampons or menstrual cups into your vagina for several weeks after surgery.
How effective is the LEEP procedure?
Studies indicate that LEEP is safe, effective, and associated with minimal complications. However, contact your OB-GYN immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
- Heavy, abnormal bleeding
- Severe abdominal cramping
- The passing of large blood clots during your period
If you experience these abnormalities, your doctor will perform an exam. The additional exam will determine if your symptoms are associated with LEEP in any way.
LEEP aftercare procedure
Lastly, following LEEP, your OB-GYN will send the abnormal tissue sample over to the lab for proper diagnosis. Then, they will contact you soon with test results and discuss the importance of follow-up visits if necessary. Moving forward, your doctor will screen you regularly for cervical cancer and determine whether any abnormal cell growth is still present.
To further lower your risk for cervical cancer, visit your OB-GYN as often as recommended to undergo routine Pap tests. Also, stop smoking to lower your risk of cancer. In addition, practice safe sex using a condom to prevent the exchange of sexually transmitted infections.
The board-certified physicians at Women’s Care Florida are dedicated to providing the gold-star standard in women’s healthcare. Each of our Physician Care Groups has a distinctive style and practice that can be tailored to fit your individual needs. For more information about how WCF can help you take care of you, contact us to schedule an appointment.