Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure

What you should know

A loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is used to remove abnormal tissue from your cervix or vagina. Your cervix is the opening of your uterus. Your caregiver will use a small wire loop that is heated by an electrical current to remove the tissue.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Risks

  • During the procedure, the wire loop may burn or tear part of your vagina. You may have bleeding or an infection after the procedure.

  • Without the procedure, you may not know what is causing your medical condition. Your symptoms may become worse, and it may lead to cancer.

Getting Ready

The week before your procedure:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.

  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.

  • Ask your caregiver how many days before the procedure you need to stop having sex.

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

  • Tell your caregiver if you know or think you might be pregnant.

  • Dye may be used during your procedure to mark abnormal tissues in your vagina and cervix. Tell your caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to dye.

  • You may need to have a pregnancy, urine, or blood test. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The day of your procedure:

  • Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

Treatment

What will happen:

  • Your caregiver will ask you to urinate before the procedure. He will ask you to lie on a table and place your legs in stirrups. Your caregiver will insert a speculum into your vagina to widen and hold open your vagina so he can see your cervix. He will also place a scope at the opening of your vagina to help find abnormal tissue. He will also swab the tissue with acetic acid (vinegar) or iodine dye to help him see the abnormal tissue better.

  • Your caregiver will inject your cervix or vagina with medicine to numb the area. He will use forceps to hold the cervix steady during the procedure. He will insert a wire loop through your vagina to remove abnormal tissue and stop any bleeding. Tissue samples will be collected and sent to a lab for testing. He will wash the area with iodine or a saline (salt water) solution and apply medicine to decrease bleeding. You will then be given a sanitary pad to wear.

After your procedure:

Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your procedure.

  • You have a fever.

  • You get a cold or the flu.

  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have blood, pus, or a foul odor coming out of your vagina.

  • You have sudden severe abdominal or vaginal pain.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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