If a colposccopy biopsy detects that you have a certain degree of abnormal cells on your cervix, your doctor may suggest a LEEP, which is designed to remove the abnormal cells from your cervix, allowing new healthy cells to grow. (The cervix is covered by a thin layer of tissue like your skin, which periodically sheds cells. If these cells become abnormal, it may increase the risk of cancer of the cervix)
LEEP uses a thin wire loop that acts like a surgical knife, using an electrical current, while cutting away a thin layer of surface cells.
The procedure should be done when you’re not having your menstrual period. It is recommended that you take ibuprofen 600-800 mg approximately 30-40 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
While lying on your back, with your feet in stirrups, the doctor will insert a speculum into your vagina. A solution is applied to your cervix to help visualize the abnormal cells with a colposcope (a magnifying device). You will receive a local anesthetic to numb the cervix, which may cause a mild pinching or cramping sensation.
After the procedure, a special paste may be applied to the cervix to stop bleeding. You may notice vaginal discharge, mild cramping and a brownish discharge over the next 1-2 weeks after the procedure. Do not put anything inside the vagina for 2 weeks. You should contact your doctor if you notice heavy vaginal bleeding (more than a period), severe abdominal pain, fever (greater than 100.4), or a foul smelling discharge.
A 2 week follow-up with your doctor is recommended. At this time, you will have a pelvic exam to assure appropriate healing, as well as a review of your pathology results.